Former Gloucestershire chairman John Light wants Daniel Vettori as new captain after Alex Gidman resigns
THE resignation of Alex Gidman was not a surprise. Proud to be captain of Gloucestershire for the last four years Alex has served the county with both endeavour and loyalty.
Cut Alex and he bleeds Gloucestershire. He turned down several big money offers to leave, notably from Warwickshire in 2007. He stayed to play for and lead the county he loves.
The team's poor championship performance has disappointed him greatly and during the season he has found himself enjoying captaincy less and less.
"I am going to work on my own game", says Alex. "I shall practice and work on my fitness as never before." This is good news. There are many golden Gloucestershire runs still to flow from the Gidman bat.
Finding a replacement will be difficult. There is no obvious home candidate and finding an overseas player to do the job is the way the county are looking. Kane Williamson and Ed Cowans are likely names having played for Gloucestershire this season. Both have international ambitions however and I doubt their availability for a full season.
New Zealand Daniel Vettori would be my choice. He may be ready to retire as an international cricketer and his left arm spin bowling is just what we need.
All this is speculation. I would rather just say a huge thank you to Alex Gidman - one of cricket's good guys.
Gloucestershire finished bottom of the County Championship. The league tables do not lie and Gloucestershire's presence there must be accepted.
Yes there are hard luck stories - two soft declarations allowed Yorkshire two victories, a run chase at Cheltenham was mismanaged then there was the rain ... I could go on but, of course, every county will have such stories. They are not bottom. We are. Why?
Firstly we have few cricketers in the key age range of 25-30. We did not produce any. Home-grown players such as Will Rudge, Tom Stayt and Jackson Thompson were short of county class. There was no one else. It must be remembered the Gidman brothers came into first-class cricket via the MCC groundstaff.
Worse still, two cricketers from North Wiltshire, now members of the successful Hampshire side, chose to go to Southampton rather than Bristol. Liam Dawson and James Vince would have made such a difference to our side. We should have recruited them.
Now it is all so different. The Academy is now producing good young cricketers who will take the club forward, but this is a slow, steady process. Many are not yet ready, and the team has obvious weaknesses.
Spin bowling is one. Ed Young does well with the white ball, but not the red. Jack Taylor has improved his batting but not his bowling and on spin-friendly surfaces at Swansea and Leicester did not measure up.
A top-order batsman is needed. We have one but cannot get him on the field.
Chris Dent scored a marvellous match-winning century against Hampshire - it was so good that England selectors came calling. The day they did he broke his finger badly and now has had surgery for a dislocated shoulder. Chris can also bowl. He took four wickets in the CB40 win over Leicester. If he stays fit there is no limit to what he can achieve. We certainly need him.
Murray Goodwin from Sussex and Rory Hamilton-Brown from Surrey are available and have been suggested as possible recruits. I would sign neither. Goodwin commands a salary that is equivalent to three junior players and Hamilton-Brown has had, for a variety of reasons, a poor season. Neither are the answer. Perhaps patience is. Our 40-over and 20-over game has improved. We must hope the championship will follow.
The many supporters I encounter as I walk round the ground deserve success. They love cricket and Gloucestershire and are possessed of both wit and wisdom, even listening to me prattling on about Forest Green. They supported me as chairman and have become lifetime friends. When we get promotion, gentlemen, the champagne is on me.
Do you agree with John Light? Who would you like to see as the new captain of Gloucestershire? Have your say below.
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