County news June 15, 2012

Nicol agrees to join Gloucs

ESPNcricinfo staff

Rob Nicol, the New Zealand batsman, has agreed to join Gloucestershire for the final two months of the season. He will replace compatriot Kane Williamson, who leaves the club at the end of next week to join New Zealand's tour of the West Indies.

Nicol is on standby for that tour so he won't arrive in the UK until the second week of the Cheltenham festival; Gloucestershire's second Championship match at the outground begins on July 18 against Leicestershire. His late arrival means that Gloucestershire will only have one overseas player - Muttiah Muralitharan - for the final six matches of their FLt20 campaign.

Nicol, 29, is an opening batsman who made his Test debut against South Africa in the first Test at in Dunedin in March. He played the second Test at Hamilton before being dropped for the third Test. He has fared better in nine one-day internationals, scoring 391 runs in nine matches, including a best of 146, albeit versus Zimbabwe, against whom he has made five other appearances.

"He would be a like-for-like replacement for Kane Williamson and has a very good first-class record," John Bracewell, Gloucestershire's director of cricket, said. Nicol has scored 4,537 first-class runs at 34.37 with 10 centuries. He began his career with Auckland before moving to Canterbury in 2009.

The deal to sign Nicol is part of the relationship Bracewell, the former New Zealand Test player and coach, has developed with New Zealand Cricket. As part of the agreement, Gloucestershire receive promising young New Zealand players to provide them with experience and grounding in English conditions, as well as bolstering the county's squad.

Williamson was the first player to join Gloucestershire under the arrangement. He scored 831 runs at 36.13 in 13 matches last season but has been in fine form in four matches this year, with two centuries in his 366 runs at 52.28. Gloucestershire will be hoping Nicol can produce similar form in their final seven matches of the season.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • steven on June 17, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    Wow feel sorry for GLoustershire ...did they watch th enz yappie series???? He got worked over and looked like a chump

  • Chris on June 17, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    He might do okay at county level but Rob Nicol lacks the technique and the mental hardness required to make the leap from domestic cricket to international level. Sure SA was a trail by fire but he'd already been eased into the set up with the Zim tour and subsequent home series against the minnows. And to compare him to Kane Williamson is a a joke. Young Kanye Williamson is the finest batting talent in our country since one MD Crowe IMHO...

  • Lily on June 17, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    Good luck to Rob Nicol! He clearly has a lot of talent, tests just aren't for him.

  • Lindsay on June 16, 2012, 8:13 GMT

    I do agree kiwicricketnut, our cricket team seems to have an obsession with picking people in their late 20s - early 30s, when we should be working on new talent. And having a small player pool is not the best excuse.

  • Jordan on June 16, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    You know, I really think Rob Nicol gets a lot of stick for his test venture. It's hard to get chucked in the deep end against SA's venomous bowlers. He's a quality player who will really, really, really benefit from this opportunity. I wish him the best of luck, and I hope he can ignore criticisms like that of kiwicricketnut and focus on his game. He already is, by what I read in a Stuff article, working through his issues and focus by himself. I like Nicol. He's great entertainment.

  • Nick on June 16, 2012, 1:24 GMT

    Good luck to Rob Nicol, he is a talented player and good to see him getting a go at county level. Hope you do well!

  • jared on June 15, 2012, 22:15 GMT

    Gloucestershire can have him, there is no need for the black caps to take Nicol to the west indies. Gloucestershire will definatly notice the drop in class between Nicol and Williamson, Nicol was found out against quality bowling from South Africa with the moving ball, he will experience the same in England and his technique will be exposed again. New Zealand should invest more in the promising openers coming through the ranks like Jeet Ravel, Hamish Rutherford, Tom Latham or Mike Bracewell i think all of them already have a better record than Nicol

  • No featured comments at the moment.