Gemaal Hussain is in talks with other counties about a move away from Nevil Road at the end of just his first season in county cricket. John Bracewell doesn’t want to play the loyalty card, this blog certainly does.
Hussain has worked extremely hard for an opportunity in first class cricket. After developing his game at London County Cricket Club – a development centre founded by WG Grace – he trialled at various counties and played for several second X1s.
Gloucestershire were the first county to show faith in the young man and gave him a two-year deal.It has been their work over the winter that has developed Hussain, harnessed the natural talent and produced a fine bowler.
After Ian Saxelby was ruled out for the long term before the start of this season, many expected Anthony Ireland to fill his place. But it was Hussain that was called up. An uninspiring debut at Beckenham last year forgotten, Hussain claimed nine wickets on debut and his stock has risen to such an extent that several counties have expressed an interest in the 26-year-old: with deeper pockets than Gloucestershire.
Hussain was rejected by Nottinghamshire; Worcestershire; Surrey; Sussex for whom he played 2nd X1 cricket. He is now the one that can do the rejecting but to snub the county that provided your breakthrough would be hideous.
Bracewell would like, instead, to use the professionalism card. Great surfaces to bowl on plus a quality backroom staff that is developing a reputation for bringing on promising youngsters should be enough persuade Hussain.
But he is 26. 10 years at the top? The lure of making the most from what you’ve got may be a factor too pertinent to ignore.