Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Glos line up Clark

Gloucestershire have indicated they would be interested in signing Australian fast bowler Stuart Clark as cover for James Franklin.

With Franklin set to be away throughout June, the Shire are lining up potential replacements, and Clark, who will join up with the Australian ashes squad, has been sounded out as a candidate.

Questions will again be asked of whether counties should be offering preparation to the Australian players ahead of an ashes series, so one is caught between a rock and a hard place as to which opinion to take.

With a Glos hat on, the signing of an international front-line bowler would be a excellent addition to a squad set to face championship games against Derbyshire, Middlesex and Kent in June, amongst the Twenty20 fixtures. However, do we want to be branded as the county that gave the Aussie's a boost before the ashes?

While the argument over Middlesex's Phil Hughes can swing both ways - with some arguing that his exposure in the county game will give the England backroom staff a chance to assess him, giving the home side an advantage, with a bowler however, I believe the benefits can only be stacked on one side of the fence - and that side is not in the northern hemisphere.

It is good to see that the club are weighing up for a big name replacement of our oversees player - one assumed we would make do for a month. But an Australian isn't the easiest nationality to digest, particularly at this time. Although winning back the ashes against a more prepared Australia would taste all the sweeter!

Gemaal Hussain, a 26-year old fast-bowler, has been signed on a two-year deal following successes in the Birmingham league and a trial with the Shire earlier this year.


  1. When We're Bobbin'19 May 2009 at 18:53

    I'm a Gloucestershire man first, England come distant second - if Clark wants to play for us and performs then sign him up! Also, given the Aussies who have played for us in the past decade I have no problem with us signing another.

    I couldn't really care less if we help him prepare for the Ashes or not - I'd far prefer to see Glos win LVCCD2 than England win anyway! C'mon the Shire!

  2. I must admit, I find that the argument about giving payers time to adjust doesn't wash really; they play warm-up games anyway, which, while not as comprehensive as four day cricket, if the touring cricket authority has done its job properly (personally I don't believe England play enough warm-up games) will adequately prepare them for the upcoming series. In addition, experienced players will have either played in similar (or the same, if they have toured here before) conditions on the Test circuit, or been here before with a county side (I believe Clark has played for another county before). Finally, I believe that Marshall is mainly away for the Twenty20 Cup; this is hardly much use as practice for a five-day test match. In my view, Clark would be a first class replacement for Gloucestershire, and they should go for him whole-heartedly, without any reservations over whether they are harming England's Ashes bid by doing so.

    Glad to see the Shire recruiting players; should expand our pool of potential bowlers, especially good given that Saxelby and Kirby are injured. I don't mean to throw the guy in at the deep end, but he should be given a go in one of the remaining FPT games, given that Gloucs have already qualified.

  3. Yes definitely bigV, chuck him in against Durham and lets see what he can do.

    As for Clark, I suppose players would be prepared adaquetely anyway so perhaps it's not that big a deal.

    But what are the chances of a club like Glos pulling off the signing?! He played for Hampshire before didn't he?! And weren't Kent sniffing around at the start of the year?!

  4. When We're Bobbin'20 May 2009 at 11:56

    Well we're top of the table in both competitions we've played in so far so he can assume he wouldn't be joining a bunch of no-hopers, and I imagine Bracewell can be quite persuasive. If it's only for a few weeks I guess the Aussie coaching team would encourage him to take what he can get too...

    Gidman's brother hasn't started too badly today by the sounds of it ...wonder if it'll turn out we released the wrong one!

  5. I think that if practice is what he's after, then he'll go to whoever offers him a place.

    Today, it looks like two good inings from Frankln and Adshead have pulled it back, if not our way, then certainly giving the bowlers something decent to defend. Our top order seems to collapse in one day games far too often for my liking.

  6. Fantastic partnership between the two...will Adshead be pushing Steve Snell for a place?

  7. When We're Bobbin'20 May 2009 at 15:18

    Yes an excellent partnership - I was hoping they'd both get tons and they certainly would have earned them! Should make it a lot closer than it seemed it would be at 70ish-5!

    I don't know what we can do about the collapsing ..I definitely think our order is a mess - I'm not a fan of Hamish opening, Gidman at 3 or Spearman at 4!

  8. Still no centuries in this competition! And only one century all season!

    I think we've only had one fifty opening partnership in the FPT - Will Porterfield and Hamish Marshall. Spearman's obviously still suffering from his injury from last season.

    Is Gidman's place in the team threatened? I know he's captain, but his record in the FPT this season is abysmal - 0, 35, 3, 0, 10, 7, 31, 43 - that's an average of 16. There are plenty of quality batsmen waiting in the second team, Grant Hodnett for one, and I've heard that Glos rate Woodman very highly.

  9. Glos do rate Woodman very highly.

    My mate spoke to Mike Smith who said that Somerset were somewhat reluctant to let him go.

  10. I doubt they'd drop Gidman; Woodman, for all his apparent promise, hasn't done much on first team outings so far, and Gidman also offers a decent bowling option as well.

  11. Looks like we have him nonetheless, the Guardian ahve reported that Gloucestershire "are set to risk ECB fury after offering Stuart Clark a two-game deal"

  12. Clark is indeed, albeit temporarily, a Gloucestershire player as long as a visa comes through.

    The Australian who has a test average of just under 23 (!) will be playing for us during June if it works out!

  13. When We're Bobbin'22 May 2009 at 22:15

    Great news! - can't wait to see him lining up in a Glos shirt - unless the ECB pay someone a lot of money to 'lose' the visa application! In any case, it's good to see that our board have got their act together with regard to this season's signings, they deserve recognition/credit for that.

    Maybe the ECB would have more success if they concentrated more on how England can win the Ashes and less on making excuses for defeat before a ball's been bowled!


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