GLOUCESTERSHIRE director of cricket John Bracewell expects James Fuller to return from New Zealand as a better bowler after he starred in Otago Volts’ T20 triumph.

The pace ace took career-best T20 figures of 4-24 as the Volts beat Wellington Firebrands by four wickets in the HRV Cup Final, and as domestic champions they will now face a qualifying round for the lucrative Champions League in India in September.

Fuller originally went to New Zealand in early November to play club cricket for Takapuna in Auckland, where he was brought up, but the trip proved more fruitful than imagined as he was soon selected for Otago’s T20 squad as their second overseas player to Ryan ten Doeschate.

Bracewell said: “James has been a bit of a success story for us over the winter. “He went to New Zealand to play premier club cricket in Auckland, but has been used by Otago, his old province, as one of their overseas players for the Twenty20 competition.

“It’s great for them and extremely good for us in terms of the experience James has been getting bowling at the start and end of innings.

Fuller also rubbed shoulders with his idol Brett Lee, the former Australian pace bowler, who played one game for the Volts on their route to the final.

Bracewell added: “If you watch James’s bowling action you can tell that Brett is one of his heroes and a player he has either deliberately or accidentally modelled himself on. “He is no doubt now finding out that his hero is not a bad bloke as well as being a top bowler.”

l Former Gloucestershire chairman Alan Haines has died after a short illness.

He served on the club’s management committee from 1991 and was chairman between 2002 and 2005.

l Gloucestershire’s Clydesdale Bank 40 over match against Glamorgan, originally scheduled to take place on Monday, August 19, will now be played at the Bristol County Ground on Sunday, August 18 (1.45pm).

At the request of the ECB, both sides agreed to this match fixture change in order for England Lions and Bangladesh A to hold practice sessions on Monday, August 19 in preparation for their tourist match which is due to be played at the County Ground on Tuesday, August 20. However, should Gloucestershire or Glamorgan reach the Friends Life Twenty20 Finals Day, the re-scheduled match would be moved back to Monday, August 19.