Marcus North - Gloucestershire's oversees player for the 2007 and 2008 seasons - has signed a deal with Hampshire for the 2009 season.
The deal, in which North will share the oversees-player duties with leg-spinner Imran Tahir, puts paid to any expectations that the shire would be resigning the Western-Australian lefthander.
North scored over 900 runs for the glos last season, the second-highest run-scorer and his patience at the crease proved invaluable in a very difficult season for the club.
However, with the batting line-up Gloucestershire posses, one feels those players need to be backed and a batting oversees player is not the smartest investment.
It is the bowling department where the squad lacks firepower and too many part-timers are employed, making 20 wickets in four-days a real struggle. I believe a quality bowler needs to be recruited to bolster what at times was a feeble attack last season.
Hopefully John Bracewell can deliver the goods in order to make the shire competitive in all forms of the game and with rumours surrounding possible moves for fellow New Zealander Tim Southee and Australian Ben Hilfenhaus circulating, signs are that Bracewell will be able to attract the standard of player required to Nevil Road.