Thursday, 19 May 2011

Williamson proves himself more than just a good gym trainer

Day 1: Gloucestershire 177 - 3 v Leicestershire.

Imagine being a young, exciting overseas player signed by Gloucestershire. You are 20 years old. You are keen to pick up valuable experience in different conditions. You are given a sales pitch that presumably includes the names WG Grace, Wally Hammond and Mike Procter. You are sold. Then the club's bumbling administration fails to sort out your work visa (Does anyone actually know what happened here?) No problem you think. These things happen.

Then you turn up to discover that your teams best batsman is a guy called Gidman, not the captain, but his younger brother who bats 7. You are then asked to bat 3 behind 2 guys with less than 10 first class appearances between them, one of whom doesn't appear to have the ability to hit the ball off the square. In the nets you get to face the club's best spinner, Vikram Banerjee. It is therefore no wonder that Kane Williamson didn't hit the ground running. 40 odd runs in his first 2 county championship games wasn't cause for too much criticism in the Jessop Tavern's eyes, but another poor showing here would have increased the pressure on the young Kiwi star. But fear not. Kane Williamson can now confirm that he can do more than run a good Pilates class.

In a rain-interrupted match it is hard to gauge a score of 177 for 3. It is a score that is very delicately placed. If Williamson and Gidman go on tomorrow morning then Gloucestershire can hope to take advantage of bowling last on a strange early season pitch that has seen both sides include two spinners. Collapse like we have done recently and Gloucestershire will be desperately logging on to BBC weather for the latest forecasts over Grace Road. The pitch is pretty flat at the moment so even the captain should be able to cash in.

As an aside to today's play we would like to take the opportunity to praise Leicestershire for showing the correct approach to division 2 cricket. Filling their team with mostly young, up-and-coming players. Nathan Buck is 20. Matthew Boyce is 25. Josh Cobb is 20. Paul Dixey is 23. Claude Henderson is...! After taking a bit of stick for our criticism of Northants' approach to journeymen, results-based cricket it is good to see a side similarly investing in young English players.

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