WILL Gidman insists the opportunity to play Division One County Championship cricket with Nottinghamshire was too good to turn down.

The 29-year-old all-rounder, who has also appeared for Thornbury over the last two years, will leave Gloucestershire once his contract expires at the end of the season and has agreed a three-year deal at Trent Bridge.

“To play First Division cricket, at this stage in my career, was too good an opportunity to turn down,” Gidman said.

“Therefore, for family and cricketing reasons, I have decided to join Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club which is something I am incredibly excited about.

“It has been a huge honour to play for Gloucestershire Cricket, the club I supported as a kid growing up.

“The club and especially the members and supporters have been fantastic and this is something I am very thankful for.

“There is still much to play for this season and I can’t wait to get back on the field and enjoy the rest of my time with Gloucestershire.”

Gidman played youth cricket for Gloucestershire but spent three years with MCC Young Cricketers after not being offered a professional contract and in 2007 joined Durham, where he only made one first class appearance against Sri Lanka A over four seasons.

He has gained a reputation as being one of the best all-rounders in England since returning to his home county ahead of the 2011 season, scoring 2,637 runs at an average of 38.77 and taking 194 wickets at 21.86 apiece.

Gloucestershire director of cricket John Bracewell said: “It is sad news to lose Will after a triumphant return to his home county.

“Having spent time in the Durham 2nd XI he returned to Gloucestershire and quickly established himself as the leading all-rounder in the country, breaking records previously held by the likes of (Garfield) Sobers and (Mike) Procter.

“Will is a great professional and I wish him all the very best in his future career."