Alex Gidman quits as Gloucestershire skipper
Alex Gidman has announced his decision to stand down as captain of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club after four years in the job.
His resignation comes just days after Gloucestershire finished bottom of the LV= County Championship Division Two and will not surprise those behind the scenes at Nevil Road.
Gloucestershire are already considering Gidman's successor and, in the absence of any credible candidates on the staff, will almost certainly offer the role to an overseas player in 2013.
Australia A skipper Ed Cowan and New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson have both played for the county this season and are sure to be among those sounded out for the job.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Whoever is appointed will face the not inconsiderable task of galvanising an inexperienced squad of players who have been plagued by inconsistency this year.
It was clear the pressures of leadership were taking their toll on Gidman when he relinquished the captaincy to Hamish Marshall for the Friends Life t20 tournament in June and July this year, in which Gloucestershire reached the quarter-finals before losing to Sussex at Hove.
The county failed to reach the knockout stages of the CB 40 competition and won only three out of 16 four-day County Championship matches.
Gidman, who succeeded Jon Lewis as captain, told The Daily Press: "I was no longer enjoying being captain, it's as simple as that.
"I found I was no longer as motivated as I used to be to do all the extra work the role entails and that is why I have decided to step down.
"I've given it my best shot for four seasons and it is now time to move aside and let someone else have a go.
"Professional sport can be a brutal environment and cricket is a results-driven business. Our results have not been good enough and the team has not improved as much as I thought it should have.
"As captain, I have to take responsibility for that. Leading an inexperienced group of players is extremely challenging and they deserve a captain who is fully committed to the role."
Gloucestershire chief executive Tom Richardson said: "We are very grateful to Alex for the commitment, loyalty and dedication he has shown as our captain, first as an able deputy to Jon Lewis, and then as our appointed skipper.
"The question arises about how to replace him as captain. We know we need to recruit an overseas signing for next season and one option we shall certainly explore is bringing that player in as our new skipper."
The club's director of cricket John Bracewell added: "Alex has faced a particularly tough period as captain trying to deliver success with a young and developing squad.
"With all the extra demands on him, he has not been able to spend the time he wants to on his own game. He still has a stack of runs left in him as a player and I'm sure will benefit from being free of the worries captaincy brings."
Gloucestershire are hoping that by offering the captaincy, they will attract a quality overseas player next season.
Tasmanian batsman Cowan and Williamson both fit the bill but, as ever, availability will be an issue.
Both will have international commitments next summer, with Cowan likely to be named in Australia's squad for the Ashes, and Gloucestershire may have to explore an option whereby the pair share the captaincy between them.
Meanwhile, Gidman has a year left on his contract and remains committed to helping Gloucestershire achieve their ambition of winning promotion to Division One of the championship.
He said: "I will still be around to support the new captain and offer my advice if it is asked for.
"I feel I have a lot of experience to pass on to the young players and a lot to offer as a player still."