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.
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