WITH the weight of captaincy off his shoulders, Alex Gidman is hoping to let his bat do the talking to fire Gloucestershire to promotion next year.

The 31-year-old from Rodborough struggled for form last season, scoring just 528 runs at an average of 25.14 in the County Championship as they finished bottom of Division Two.

That was one of the main reasons Gidman (pictured) decided to stand down and he is on a personal quest to hit more runs now that he can concentrate more on his own game.

“One of the beauties of not being captain anymore is that, while I obviously want the team to do well, I am just aiming to score as many runs as I can and not thinking so much about our targets as a club,” he said.

“The aim will obviously be promotion and we have a lot of talented young players who will be a year older and wiser, so there is every reason for optimism.

“Although it is only December, I can’t wait to get started.”