Gloucestershire encounter delay in signing overseas star for T20 campaign
Gloucestershire's plans to recruit an overseas fast bowler to play T20 cricket this summer have encountered a frustrating delay.
Having worked their way through a long list of potential signings, the county identified their prime target last month.
But the deal fell through when it became clear the player concerned would not be available for the whole of the domestic T20 campaign, which runs from June 28 until August 17.
Although the announcement of a second overseas recruit to play alongside Australian batsman Michael Klinger has been delayed, Gloucestershire director of cricket John Bracewell remains confident a signing will still be made.
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Bracewell said: “We have found that, while there are a lot of players available on the agency lists, not all of them are fully available for the duration of our T20 competition.
“With so many T20 tournaments being held on or around the same time, in particular the one in West Indies, players are yet to decide on where they want to play.
“The finalists of our domestic competition this season won’t be going to the Champions Trophy as in previous years, whereas the winning side in West Indies could do.
“In the end, money talks, so, while we have approached a number of players who are more than capable of assisting us, they are yet to decide which direction they want to take.
“Availability and fitting into our budget are the two key criteria when it comes to making a signing. We are in no rush because we do not want to make a rash decision.”
Having employed spinner Muttiah Muralitharan during the past two T20 campaigns, Bracewell confirmed a change in tack when he admitted: “Our preference is for a top order bowler, who can deliver two overs at the start of an innings and two at the end.
“We thought we had identified the right player, but it turned out that he wanted to miss our finals to go and play in the West Indies, which was not an option as far as we were concerned.
“Our plan is to reach the finals and win so that particular deal has fallen over. But we have other irons in the fire and I’m sure we will find someone else capable of complementing the skills we already have in the side.”