County News September 15, 2003

Harvey rules out return to Gloucestershire

Wisden CricInfo staff

Gloucestershire have announced that Ian Harvey will not be returning to the club next season. Harvey, who has been a key part in their one-day success for the past five years, rejected a new contract offer, saying, "I wish to take time to consider my future over the autumn and winter and may well take a break next summer."

Harvey was the Man of the Match in this year's Cheltenham & Gloucester final in which Gloucestershire thumped Worcestershire by seven wickets. But after the game he hinted that he may not be coming back next summer among rumours of a change around at the club. He said, "If they want to go in a different direction, that's fine. I have no idea if I'll be back."

However, speaking today, he has not ruled out a return to county cricket: "Should I decide to play county cricket next season then I do feel I need a fresh challenge."

Tom Richardson, Gloucestershire's chief executive, said: "We made Ian the best offer we could and we are extremely disappointed that he will not be continuing with us. However, being an allrounder all year round is extremely demanding and also we do understand if he needs the impetus of a new challenge. He has played magnificently for us on numerous occasions and we are extremely grateful to him for all he has done for the club."

Harvey follows John Bracewell, the coach, and Jonty Rhodes, their other overseas player, out of the door. Bracewell is to coach New Zealand while Rhodes has announced he will retire from first-class cricket at the end of the English season.