CAPTAIN Michael Klinger is urging Gloucestershire chiefs to extend the loan of Geraint Jones from Kent.
The former England wicketkeeper has made an instant impact since joining on a month-long deal as cover for the injured Gareth Roderick and smashed an entertaining 34 off just 14 balls in Gloucestershire’s NatWest T20 Blast game against Glamorgan on Sunday, which was abandoned at the halfway stage due to rain after the home side scored 207-3 at Bristol.
Jones also hit 93 from 75 deliveries in the nine-wicket win against Leicestershire in the County Championship last week but Klinger says his most significant contribution has been the experience he has brought to a young squad.
While Roderick is not expected to have recovered from a broken finger by the time Jones’ spell comes to an end in two weeks, Gloucestershire are also light in the bowling department following the retirement of Ian Saxelby and a spate of injuries, and director of cricket John Bracewell will have to weigh up his options on a tight budget.
Klinger said: “I know what I would say if it was totally up to me but it’s up to the club what they want to do with that.
“A guy who’s playing such good cricket and so good around the group, whether he’s a keeper or any player, you’d want to keep him obviously.
“His on-field impact for us speaks for itself but it's also his off-field stuff – having another experienced guy in the room and in the middle to help me out is great as well.
“That’s where I believe his major impact has been and to back that up on the field has been great for us so I’m very pleased to have him in our squad at the moment.”
Klinger top-scored with 70 against Glamorgan, sharing a 63-run opening stand with Alex Gidman (26) and 77 with Ian Cockbain, who continued his fine form from the four-run win over Sussex two days earlier by finishing unbeaten on 59 from 40 balls.
It was Gloucestershire’s highest T20 score at Bristol in eight years but they were denied a second straight win in the competition by the weather.
Klinger said: “In Twenty20 you can get in a rhythm like that and score runs. I think the fact that we had two Twenty20 games in a row makes a big difference.
“Every time you get a score like that you’d back yourself to win the game but I think it would’ve been a great game for the crowd.
“They’ve got a great batting line-up with some great players so I think it would’ve been a great game and they would’ve pushed it right to the end I’m sure so it’s unfortunate for us and unfortunate for the crowd but it’s out of our control.”
With Gloucestershire having to settle for one point, they will head into Friday’s T20 game against Essex seventh in the South Group and in need of a win to stay in touch with the top four.
David Payne has recovered from a heel injury and could return to the side, but fellow seam bowlers Craig Miles (back) and James Fuller (foot) remain sidelined.