I HAVE to start this week’s column by paying my own tribute to Will Gidman, who will be leaving us for Nottinghamshire at the end of the season.
Earlier in the season I said Will deserved an England call-up and I stand by that because his record shows he is one of the best all-rounders in the country.
Players who regularly take five-fors and score hundreds don’t grow on trees, so I’m not surprised that rival counties have been looking at him.
As a team we were absolutely gutted when he sat us down at Worcester and told us he would be leaving, and he will be sorely missed.
But I can honestly say everyone wished him well. He has been an incredible player for us for four seasons and is a brilliant bloke to have in the changing room.
Now he is heading to the first division and I’m sure he will be just as successful at Trent Bridge.
It is always frustrating to see players who have developed and improved at Gloucestershire moving on, and it has happened a few times during my eight years with the club.
But there are countless examples of the same thing happening in other sports around the world and I suppose it is inevitable that different clubs operate in different ways.
I know Gloucestershire are pretty proud of their record of improving young English players, which is ultimately a good thing for the game in this country.
At least we proved in our Championship game at Worcester that we can win without Will, and it capped an excellent week for us in the two competitions we’re involved in.
A 50-over win at New Road guaranteed our place in the quarter-finals, and it would be fantastic for the club to get to the semis or even the final.
Will is still a Gloucestershire player for a few more weeks and I know he is as desperate as anybody for a Lord’s triumph, which would be the perfect send-off.
The four-day win was probably more unexpected for a lot of people, with Worcestershire all set to win promotion and unbeaten until we rocked up.
Along with Will we were also missing our captain Michael Klinger, but Alex Gidman led by example with the bat and our bowlers were outstanding – especially on the first morning.
Gareth Roderick also showed his class with an outstanding 98. He has a really bright future and I know he has
ambitions to play at the highest
It was great to sing our victory song again and we all headed back down the M5 in good spirits, although Chris Dent almost got stranded due to a flat tyre on his car.
I saved his blushes by legging it down to the groundsman’s shed and borrowing a pump, and then followed him on the motorway to make sure he got home safely.
All part of being a team player I suppose, although Denty owes me a beer!