Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Taylor to take Gloucestershire to tribunal

Taken from ESPNcricinfo.com

Chris Taylor will take Gloucestershire to an employment tribunal after failing to agree a new contract with the county. The deal was dependent on the county's ground development plans being granted but they were rejected in January.

Taylor, a batsman and part-time offspinner at Gloucestershire for 12 years, will claim unfair dismissal. The county confirmed the matter will go to litigation.

He is the second player to leave Nevil Road because of financial uncertainty surrounding Gloucestershire's ground development. Quick-bowler Jon Lewis left for Surrey at the end of last season after failing to agree a new contract, ending 16 years at Gloucestershire.

Hamish Marshall, the former New Zealand batsman, was also offered a renegotiated deal for 2012 but his deal was not dependent on the outcome of the planning application.

Taylor, 35, made his Gloucestershire debut in 2000 and became the first player to score a hundred at Lord's in their maiden first-class match. He was also the first Gloucestershire player to score a hundred on debut. A year later he made his record first-class score, 196 against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, a mark he equalled last season against Kent at Cheltenham.

He was Gloucestershire's leading run-scorer in 2011, making 1,139 runs at 40.67, as the county finished fourth in County Championship Division Two.

Taylor was part of the golden era where Gloucestershire won seven one-day trophies in five seasons between 1999 and 2004 and captained the County Championship side in 2004 and 2005. He was awarded a benefit year in 2009 and built a reputation as one of the best fielders in county cricket and is currently the England Lions' fielding coach.

"We agreed and signed a conditional contract with Chris dependent on our ground development going ahead," said Gloucestershire chief executive Tom Richardson. "Unfortunately, the planning permission we sought was turned down and therefore we have not been able to complete this agreement. We would like to thank Chris very much for his years of service and wish him all the best for the future."

The rejection of planning permission for Nevil Road cast doubt over Gloucestershire's future with a move away from Bristol a possibility. But they have been able to sign batsman Dan Housego from Middlesex.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Gloucestershire's future in doubt

Taken from ESPNcricinfo.com

The future of Gloucestershire has been thrown into doubt after plans to develop their Nevil Road home were rejected. The club could now leave Bristol, where they have played since their formation in 1870.

Gloucestershire had hoped to undertake a £10 million project to raise the capacity of Nevil Road to meet ECB standards and keep international cricket but the city council rejected their plans. Gloucestershire are now looking at several options to secure their future, one of which is a move to another part of the county.

The ground development was essential to maintaining a one-day international at Bristol, a match which brings £1 million to the city. The project was to be funded by building flats at one end of the ground but permission for this was rejected. Opponents thought the plan for a seven-story block of 147 flats was too big, didn't comply with sustainability commitments and lacked contributions towards education and green spaces.

Chief executive Tom Richardson said the club were angry at the decision to reject plans that were recommended for approval by the council's planning officers and a move away from Bristol was now a serious possibility. "We've said all along if we don't have international cricket at Bristol, and we're staring down the barrel at that, then we'll have to consider moving elsewhere," said Richardson.

Gloucester City Council have already been in touch with the club for early talks over a potential move to the Wagon Works Ground, a venue Gloucestershire used from 1923 to 1992.

The club now have to decide whether to appeal the decision to reject planning permission or seek other options. Either way, time against them. "It's a long term decision and can't be taken lightly or quickly but the clock is ticking," said Richardson. "The international in 2013 is now extremely dodgy or maybe already disappeared. With international cricket here we had a very good plan going forward. Now we have to have a serious rethink."

Another consequence on the rejected plans is the impact on the playing budget. A contract offer to Chris Taylor was conditional on the development going ahead. Taylor could now be the second senior player to leave Nevil Road, after Jon Lewis' departure to Surrey at the end of the last season.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Festival ends in double defeat

LVCC: Surrey 423 & 186-8 beat Gloucestershire 286 & 320 by two wickets (PTS: Surrey 24, Glos 5)

It was a super game and although Gloucestershire lost, it was very encouraging that Surrey were ran very close chasing a small total. Maybe even 30 more could have won the game. But there was a fightback and it is not often that Gloucestershire respond from 100 behind.

For the past few seasons, the performances at Cheltenham have been so soft and, particularly last season, really have derailed a good season. But this year a poor Kent team were rolled over by an inning and this performance was a strong one against an excellent Surrey side that should be up at the top of the table. The acquisition of Jon Lewis will go a long way to putting that right next year.

But now Gloucestershire they are in serious limbo. Everything is on hold until the ground redevelopment planning application is heard. Contracts cannot be tabled and Gloucestershire need to keep Chris Taylor surely? A quality experienced hand who is enjoying a good summer and who seems to have plenty of year's left in him.

No youngsters that I've seen would be able to replace what Chris Taylor offers.

And in Hamish Marshall and Chris Dent, the opening partnership may have been solved. So to lose Marshall would be a major blow. It would be a shame if 2012 had to be another rebuilding season in that area.

CB40: Lancashire 294-6 beat Gloucestershire 290-4 by four wickets

2012 will still be another rebuilding year in one-day cricket. Gloucestershire are experimenting with youngsters in the short forms and it will take time to develop the nous and become streetwise that you need in one-day matches. The Gloucestershire of old would never have lost this match, even at Cheltenham.

But one-day experience will return. The immediate task is to keep a side together that have been going well in the Championship. Promotion probably won't come this year - Middlesex and Northamptonshire look the best two sides in the division. But this young side have done so well. The senior bones that are at the core of the team need to be kept together to ensure another challenge can be mounted next season.

Eyebrows will certainly be raised though if Gloucestershire can't keep Marshall and Taylor after cash was spent on Kevin O'Brien, who has produced one innings so far, and Muralitharan, who has produced nothing on the field, but probably lured a few extras through the turnstiles.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lewis departs as Glos fight back

Day 3, Close: Gloucestershire 249-4 & 286 lead Surrey 423 by 112 runs (PTS: Glos 5, Surrey 8)

I'm sure a lot of people, including myself, would have taken day three at Cheltenham if offered. Gloucestershire fought back, if not with a vengeance, but with some heart. A maiden first-class century for Chris Dent was a delightful way to improve the mood of many after the news that Jon Lewis will leave Gloucestershire at the end of the summer.

It was heartbreaking news. Lewis has served 17 seasons at Nevil Road and been one of the greatest performers in the club's history. Even at 35 and shorn of the help of Steve Kirby this season he has performed brilliantly and is on course to eclipse 500 runs in a season for the first time.

But everyone needs to look to their future after sport and Lewis will have coaching opportunities at Surrey. More to the point, his immediate future is now secure. Gloucestershire still have to wait to September 7 for the planning application for the ground redevelopment to be heard. There is much financial uncertainly with other senior players, Hamish Marshall and Chris Taylor, yet to have been offered a new deal.

But for the time being, Gloucestershire have a handy advantage and still with wickets in hand. The fear of a collapse was allayed by Chris Dent's chanceless innings. He was patient and played attractively - exactly what Dent is capable of and a performance to make everyone feel much better about the future.

His partnerships, worth 94 with Alex Gidman - who remains 57 not out - and Kane Williamson - who threw away his wicket with a poor stroke - have given Gloucestershire a fighting chance with all three results still technically possible tomorrow. But Surrey remain favourites.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coughtrie miss a killer for Glos

Day 2, Close: Surrey 392/8 lead Gloucestershire 286 by 106 runs (PTS: Glos 4, Surrey 7)

Catches win matches. That could be the end of the blog because that sums up the first two days of this match. A very even game save Mark Ramprakash's 141. Dropped on four by Richard Coughtrie. Such a shame for the young man; anyone can drop a catch; we all make mistakes - just some of the catchphrases that matter not one jot. It is a miss that will probably cost Gloucestershire this match.

That may be a touch pessimistic but it will take the best performance of the season with the bat to save the game. Surrey possess a superb bowling attack and more importantly, a batting line up than can score so quickly.

The innings run rate is nearly four-an-over. Even if Gloucestershire made 400 in four sessions, Surrey could easily chase down 300 in the final two. It is a very long way back for Gloucestershire.

What also hurt the home side was the partnership of 126 for the eighth wicket. Gloucestershire had chipped away well all day and limited the partnerships. But for such a large stand to come so late in the innings was a big nuisance. It turned the match squarely towards the visitors.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Unexpected win for Glos

CB40: Gloucestershire 196-6 beat Essex 195 by four wickets

Unexpected because of the results in the competition so far and the X1 that Gloucestershire fielded - again packed with youngsters, including a return to action for the now 17-year-old Craig Miles.

Miles looked a much better prospect watching him bowl from side on, on a good hard deck. From the top of the Jessop stand in April there was definitely a sense of what's-the-fuss-about. But today his potential was evident. Plenty more growing to do and already capable of picking up 2-fors in first team cricket. Impressive.

Impressive was also another controlled innings from Ian Cockbain. It wasn't the innings of a finisher but that of an opener whose knock the total is built around - he should be pushed up the order. He won the game today and could have won yesterday's game too.

But this game was more lost by Essex. They were outrageously poor in simply not sticking around. Seven down in the 13th over was pathetic. Once batsmen got settled - Phillips, Napier and Wright - they proved how profitable the College can be with two record partnerships for Essex against Gloucestershire.

Their battling nearly set something up for the visitors as Gloucestershire again lost too many wickets too soon but Cockbain and Kevin O'Brien, who was unusually but welcomingly sensible, found the partnership that won them the game.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Glos fail in modest chase

CB40: Nottinghamshire 266 beat Gloucestershire 247-9 by 19 runs (PTS: Notts 2, Glos 0)

Well you can't complain when the sun shines at Cheltenham and over 500 runs are scored in 80 overs but it was certainly disappointing that Gloucestershire never properly challenged only a par score.

The ridiculously inexperienced bowling attack - James Fuller in his fourth match and Matthew Taylor, brother of Jack, on debut - did exceptionally well to bowl Notts out. It was a great comeback from the blistering start the visitors made, fast even for the College.

Fuller, save the the first ball falling over at the bowling crease trick, looks a very good prospect. He has a strong arm action and bowled with pace and hurried the batsmen. Taylor was only military medium and often bowled to the wrong field.

But the bowlers stuck to their task well and Jack Taylor, Ed Young and Kane Williamson bowled to decent plans and contained the scoring.

With the bat, Gloucestershire had more than the ammunition to knock off the runs but less than a combined 50 from Hamish Marshall, Alex Gidman and Chris Taylor wasn't good enough. They needed to be counted as senior players and the latter two gave their wickets away.

Kevin O'Brien once again proved what a hit-and-miss-miss-miss player he is and there wasn't much else. Ian Cockbain played the innings that would have won the match at number two.

But Glos were almost out of the competition anyway so a good game in the sun should have been good enough for the punters.
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