Gloucestershire finally remembered that because Kane Williamson is good he has to go and play proper cricket against the West Indies. In his place we were told that New Zealand would send over a young, future international, packed with potential looking to broaden their experiences with some county cricket. Sadly the New Zealand cricket board couldn't find one of these, so they've sent us 29 year old Rob Nicol.
But hold on, the man averages 49 in ODIs! He also took this fairly spectacular catch:
Ok, so it's not that spectacular, but we're trying to be positive here.
Of his 391 ODI runs, 338 of them came against Zimbabwe (in 6 matches, including 2 hundreds) and 53 came against South Africa in 3 matches. So he likes to plunder against the meek.
He was picked for New Zealand's first two tests in their recent series against South Africa, the series that seems to have really kick started Kane Williamson's international career. Sadly Rob didn't get the same boost. Opening the batting he managed 28 runs in four innings before being dropped.
But fear not, King John is quoted as saying that Rob will be a "like-for-like replacement for Kane Williamson and has a very good first-class record." His very good first class record reads: an average of 34 and 10 hundreds. He's 29. Put another way, he's a perfect fit for Gloucestershire.
Ok, so we are not exactly blown away by this signing. We actually like the link we have with New Zealand and the idea that they send us their players who are borderline internationals. It's just that we were kind of hoping that this would be more along the lines of young, up and coming talents. Anyway, time will tell how Rob goes. A successful 2 months with the Shire could well see him suddenly having the same Irish grandmother that Hamish Marshall 'discovered'.
Perhaps the biggest concern Gloucestershire fans, and gym members have, is can Rob Nicol teach pilates?