JOHN Bracewell insists that Gloucestershire can still claim some silverware this season without an overseas star.
Australian Michael Klinger has been ruled out of the remaining games after breaking his arm in the 53-run Royal London One-Day Cup defeat at Derbyshire last week and the County are unlikely to sign a replacement ahead of their quarter-final tie against Kent at Canterbury on Friday.
An inspirational captain, Klinger has been Gloucestershire’s leading run scorer in the competition, scoring 228 runs at an average of 57.
His place in the side is likely to be taken by Will Tavare, who is the club’s leading scorer in the County Championship and scored 77 on his one-day debut against Hampshire last month, while Alex Gidman is set to captain the side again.
He led the side to a superb seven-wicket victory over Division Two leaders Worcestershire in their last County Championship outing when Klinger was out injured.
New Zealand international all-rounder Mark Craig, who was registered to play that game in Klinger’s absence, is unlikely to be available as he is currently touring with the Kiwi A team but director of cricket Bracewell believes his side are capable of enjoying success in the competition without any hired help.
“It looks like (we won’t sign an overseas player) because financially we won’t have that money and the other reason is we have a side that can compete regardless,” Bracewell told the Gazette.
“We have done in other games, against Worcester for example, so we will continue in this competition without an overseas player if finances will permit.”
Klinger’s injury means he may have played his last game for Gloucestershire with his contract set to expire at the end of the season and talks are still ongoing as he weighs up the impact of moving his family to England for another summer.
He scored over 1,000 runs in both first class and white ball cricket in his first season at the club, but struggled to reach the same heights this year.
The 34-year-old had surgery on his arm on Tuesday and is set to return to Australia next week but Bracewell said the situation might not be resolved before then.
“We are talking to him about next year. He has an offer on the table and he needs to think that through,” said Bracewell.
“Both parties want to be involved again but there is no rush to get it over the line.”
Gloucestershire were unable to secure home advantage for the One-Day Cup quarter-finals after finishing third behind Yorkshire and Essex in Group A, but Bracewell does not think that is a big blow for his side and has backed them to deliver the goods at Canterbury.
He said: “We are quite happy to go to Kent. It’s a good surface to play on.
“We think we have a good chance and we are not worried by the draw at all.
“The key will be us lifting our game ten per cent. We have played well in patches of our game but players lift themselves for knockout cricket so if we accept the challenge we will be fine.”