Cricket column by Gloucestershire CCC president John Light

Gloucestershire CCC president John Light

Gloucestershire CCC president John Light

First published in Sport Stroud News and Journal: Photograph of the Author by

JOHN BRACEWELL was right.

He said all season that the Royal London 50-Over Cup was the competition for us and a quarter-final place looks increasingly likely.

The rain-affected game against Leicestershire showed the increased confidence with which the team are playing.

It also showed the change in fortunes of swing bowler David Payne. In a tremendous opening burst he took four wickets against Leicester, reducing them to 31-4.

Few teams recover from a score like that and Gloucestershire turned the screw. A Duckworth-Lewis target of 131 was achieved thanks largely to a stand of 80 between captain Michael Klinger and Will Gidman.

Rain prevented a result in the game at Chelmsford against a strong Essex team. Sharing the points was perhaps the best we could have achieved there and with three wins behind us the league table points to a coveted quarter-final place.

This is the time when rumours abound about players moving counties. It is inevitable because players can move if their existing contract has come to an end.

Putting these rumours aside, one thing is certain. Gloucestershire want to keep all their best players. Cricketers, like employees in so many other walks of life, have appraisal interviews. At Gloucestershire this is happening now.

All good appraisals are two-way with each party making points that will take the individual and the club forward. These appraisal may not settle matters of movement in or out of the club, but they could point the way.

It is not just cricket matters that bring about player movement, family happiness counts as well, as so it should. Those of us who have moved across the country for either cash, promotion or domestic happiness are best placed to understand the position of an out-of-contract cricketer who receives a better offer. Let us hope our players find that from Gloucestershire.

It will not have escaped your notice that football is upon us. This means Mrs Light is seeing very little of me. There are three days of Gloucestershire cricket to be watched this week and two Forest Green football matches.

I have asked her as the Rev Penny to intervene on our behalf. “Not possible,” she says. “You can pray for a good game, but God does not take sides.”

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