County Championship 2021: Gloucestershire preview
5/6 Central Group
In: Jared Warner (Yorks), Dan Worrall (Aus), Kraigg Brathwaite (WI)
Out: Gareth Roderick (Worcs), George Drissell (released), Stuart Whittingham (retired)
Ryan Higgins – the Zimbabwe-born, former Middlesex all-rounder has become Gloucestershire’s talisman since joining the club in 2018, averaging 21 with the ball and 37 with the bat and delivering a series of match-winning performances in their stirring 2019 campaign.
Ben Charlesworth – an old-school opener in the Alastair Cook mould, the willowy left-hander’s record hardly jumps off the page (averaging just 21 from 15 first-class matches) but his composed innings of 82 against Australia at last year’s Under 19 World Cup showed why he is widely regarded as the standout English batsman of his age group.
County Championship 2021: Warwickshire Fixtures
Gloucestershire v Surrey, Thursday April 8, County Ground
Somerset v Gloucestershire, Thursday April 15, Cooper Associates County Ground
Hampshire v Gloucestershire, Thursday April 22, Rose Bowl
Gloucestershire v Leicestershire, Thursday April 29, County Ground
Middlesex vs Gloucestershire, Thursday May 6, Lord’s
Gloucestershire v Somerset, Thursday May 20, County Ground
Surrey v Gloucestershire, Thursday May 27, Woodbridge Road
Leicestershire v Gloucestershire, Thursday June 3, Grace Road
Gloucestershire v Middlesex, Sunday July 4, College Ground
Gloucestershire v Hampshire, Sunday July 11, College Ground
After Gloucestershire’s against-the-odds promotion in 2019 was rendered largely meaningless by Covid, the club suffered more bad news on the eve of the new season with the departure of Richard Dawson, their impressive head coach. The former England spinner, who has become the ECB’s elite performance pathway coach, has been replaced on an interim basis by Ian Harvey, the ex-Australia all-rounder who had previously been Dawson’s deputy. Harvey’s main concern will be the batting department – no one registered a century or averaged more than 30 last season and the skipper Chris Dent carries a heavy burden. The seam attack looks sprightlier, with the left-armer David Payne (14 wickets at 14 last summer) getting better with age, and Aussie paceman Dan Worrall returning after a promising stint in 2018.
2nd in Division 3
This preview first appeared in issue 42 of Wisden Cricket Monthly.
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