Cricket: Gloucestershire could still boost their squad

12:00pm Sunday 4th May 2014

By Rob Iles

GLOUCESTERSHIRE could still add to their squad this summer, according to director of cricket John Bracewell.

Given a limited budget to work with, Bracewell has opted to hold some funds back to see where the squad may need strengthening once the season is in full swing.

He said: "We've held a certain amount of money in reserve to give us that option if required. We want to be careful with what we've got.

"We don't want to jump into anything, we want to see how our young guys go first and then look at that use of a financial reserve as and when it's required.

"We're not sure how long Ian Saxelby's shoulder will last for example, and that may cause us to act.

"We have young guys who are fragile in terms of injury. We don't want to spend any money prematurely, we want to give these guys an opportunity while still having a back-up if needed.

"There are a lot of options in how to use that reserve. We're working on a fine line and I have to be resourceful in how I use that reserve but if we have a good run in a competition then we may look to strengthen that, or if we get a run of injuries we may have to strengthen."

Bracewell admitted he would have liked to have added an experienced bowler to the ranks and he tried to tempt former Gloucestershire captain Jon Lewis back to the club last winter. They were unable to compete financially as Lewis joined Sussex instead.

Will Gidman, 29, bowled superbly in the rain-affected draw against Glamorgan last week when he took 6-50 in the second innings as Gloucestershire tried to force victory, and has had to take on a heavy workload in recent seasons as the leader of a young pace attack.

Bracewell said: "Some of the best coaching is done on the field. It would be invaluable for us to have a bowling mentor on the park - you can't beat that, no matter how good and how resourceful your coaching staff are.

"You've got to have people on the park who can pass on experience in the situation rather than come off the field two hours after the session starts and have a review on what went wrong or what went right.

"I think we've got some really good mentors in our squad, good leaders, but they're batters in the main and that leaves Will Gidman as our most experienced bowler.

"He's been extremely successful for us as a bowler but he's had to carry that burden almost single-handedly as we develop teenagers into bowlers, and we're only just coming through that period."

Gloucestershire have not signed an overseas player for the T20 Blast. Recruiting a specialist for that competition, which starts in less than two weeks, is another option.

Bracewell said: "There are a lot of players in England at the moment touting for Twenty20 contracts playing club cricket. They have European passports and there's no doubts about their eligibility so there will be resources available for us if required."


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