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Lancashire release Gareth Cross

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 23, 2013

Comments: 16 | Text size: A | A

Gareth Cross scored 41, Lancashire v Middlesex, County Championship, Division One, Aigburth, May 24, 2012
Gareth Cross has not produced the volume of runs Lancashire want from their wicketkeeper © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Gareth Cross | Jos Buttler

Gareth Cross has been released by Lancashire, increasing the possibility that they will sign Jos Buttler from Somerset.

Cross, 29, has been dropped in the latter part of this season in favour of Alex Davies, the England Under-19 wicketkeeper, who has played the last two Championship matches against Leicestershire and Gloucestershire. In 13 Championship games Cross made 409 runs at 24.05 with one hundred and two fifties.

He tweeted: "Unfortunately my time at lancs has come to end. Thanks to everyone who ever supported me and everyone I played with. Have made some amazing friends. Its now time to move on and start a fresh somewhere else. Some big points to prove. Thanks again to everyone. Enjoyed every bit of it."

Buttler's future with Somerset has been up in the air for much of the season after he was elevated to England's one-day and Twenty20 keeper, but did not keep in all formats at county level due to the presence of Craig Kieswetter at Taunton. When asked during the one-day series against Australia, Buttler admitted it had been a bit of a distraction for him but hoped progress would be made soon.

Cross had to bide his time for a regular first-team slot after beginning his career while Warren Hegg was the No. 1 at Old Trafford. Luke Sutton's arrival meant he had to wait even longer before he became the main keeper for Lancashire's Championship-winning season in 2011 although had been in the one-day role for some time.

Cross is the second senior player Lancashire have released in recent days following the departure of Stephen Moore.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (September 24, 2013, 20:16 GMT)

@Stuart Lawson on (September 24, 2013, 16:25 GMT) To be fair , if Lancs don't land him then unless Somerset can eek out an agreement with him and Craig then he's going somewhere else - I have no issues with Lancs. It seems Jos's head is turned and IMO there are only 2 parties to blame for this.

1 - The folk at England 2 - Jos himself

He was happy enough as a batsman/resrve WK until he took over the gloves in Eng's ODI side Personally (and there prob is bias here) I think/hope Jos could maybe reach a compromise to keep more games at Taunton and concentrate on improving his 1st class batting. If he starts averaging 40+ , then start thinking more seriously about moving.

Am I alone in thinking that the only reason Jos wants to keep so much is because he thinks it's his only route into the Eng side?

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 16:25 GMT)

Somerset is a small rural county and we have worked hard to develop our own players. Lancashire have more people in Manchester alone that the whole of our county. It is a disgrace that they ar estealing our players instead of developing their own. We should enjoy the sort of compensation that Spurs are getting for losing their best player?

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

i don't think we can be classed as poaching by signing Buttler if it comes to happen. hes unhappy because he feels the number 1 position at somerset will go to CK. he want to move, lancs need a keeper. i not sure of alex davies yet as i have not seen enough of him. i was at the last 4 day game at OT as a busy batter he looked good and did all that was asked of him and his time will come. with 18 teams in county cricket any player that they think will better the team, then go for it. we have had a hard few years money wise. now we want to be up there with the big boys of the game

Posted by MartinC on (September 24, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

Would be a great signing for Lancs, for Butler and for England.

Butler needs to improve his glove work to get in the Test squad as Priors backup and successor and he will get that opportunity of being first choice keeper at Lancs. He will miss some games with the England ODI stuff and that will give young Davies a chance to get experience.

Meanwhile he will significantly improve Lancs middle order batting in all forms of the game and especially the one day stuff.

Posted by The_Millinator on (September 24, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

Big loss for Somerset if Buttler does go. I know he'll be on England duty a lot but he will still play a lot of County matches as long as he's not in the Test set-up. His bating (particularly in 40 and 20 over games) has been excellent for Somerset over the last couple of years, and he will be a valuable asset for whatever county he plays for next year.

Posted by   on (September 24, 2013, 9:34 GMT)

Here we go again Lanky blighted by the Watkinson era of trying to buy the county championship signing Sutton and Simpson having to look elsewhere and now considered one of the best in division one with Middlesex and not forgetting 900 runs in all formats this season,are they going up the same path again now they are back in the top flight

Posted by lankymanky on (September 24, 2013, 7:23 GMT)

Unfortunately Cross never produced consistently enough given his talent. I agree that the Sutton decision was a poor one by Lancs and from then one Cross only ever showed glimpses of his talent. Even knowing Lancs legend Neil Fairbother was Jos' agent I did not think he would come Lancs and like others thought Warwickshire was a certainty even if they still have ex England Tim Ambrose. Buttler's wicket keeping has a lot of improving to do which is obviously why he needs regular time behind the stumps, I have not seen Davies yet but I do believe Cross's glove work is currently much better than Buttler's. and I hope to see a steady improvement. I hope Cross finds a new club, he is very good behind the stumps as well as very noisy. He can be a destructive batsman too and deserves another crack.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 23:57 GMT)

it doesnt really make a lot of difference where Buttler moves to, as that county's supporters wont see much of him. Don't know why people get so excited about him. He isn't a patch on the Essex keeper James Foster-and I'm not even an Essex supporter!

Posted by JG2704 on (September 23, 2013, 21:33 GMT)

@Munkeymomo on (September 23, 2013, 18:33 GMT) It's going to hurt , wherever he goes. Unless he stays then he's not going to be doing anything to help Somerset so it doesn't really matter where he goes although I think I'd prefer him to go to Lancs than certain other sides. So what's going to be happening with Davies if Buttler signs? The article seems to indicate that they want to put their faith in younger players.So either that's BS or they expect Buttler to be on Eng duty alot. Whatever happens - and I still think Jos would be better off staying at least another season at Taunton , trying to improve his FC batting - Jos needs to be somewhere where he is thee number one WK otherwise there'd be no point

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 21:23 GMT)

Feel sorry for Cross. Looked an excellent prospect when he 1st appeared but then stagnated for several years after the ludicrous decision to throw a stack of cash at Luke Sutton. Sadly the Watkinson years were defined by promising young players being kept out of the side by has-beens and never-weres. A quick look down the Lancs 1st XI shows where that policy got us. Hopefully Gareth will find a new county and enjoy better luck in patures new.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 19:59 GMT)

Very Sad for home grown Cross but if Buttler moves to Lancs and it helps him improve then at least that's a bonus for England which is all that matters and at least young talent Davies will get games while Buttler is with England,

Posted by OhhhhhMattyMatty on (September 23, 2013, 19:57 GMT)

Buttler to Lancs. Interesting. He'd do better going to Warwickshire.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 19:48 GMT)

Good news for Lanky fans. Lacked a quality keeper since Hegg retired. Cross has been a massive disappointment. Insufficient runs and some awful glove work. Davies looks a quality prospect, but it's probably a season or two to soon for him to step up. If Lancs can get Buttler it will give the side much more balance. Lancs prospects for a serious challenge in all formats for 2014 look good.

Posted by   on (September 23, 2013, 19:39 GMT)

If Lancs are making a play for Buttler they must have to faith in Alex Davies because it looks like Buttler miss games for England limited overs cricket there is a chance the IPL could come knocking.

I really think he has a point to prove in first class cricket, his average is poor and playing at Taunton it should be a lot higher if he wants England honors in the long form I just hope he has time to practice it.

Posted by Jezc on (September 23, 2013, 19:26 GMT)

Its always a shame when lads who have come through the system get released but this is a big statement from Lancs. Cross has not only had a poor season with the bat (his only score of note was in a game that was always going to be a draw) but I'm not sure if his wicket keeping is county standard especially when standing up to the stumps

Posted by Munkeymomo on (September 23, 2013, 18:33 GMT)

It's really gunna break my heart watching Jos play for Lancs. I can only hope he plays for England so much that Lancs never rally get to play him.

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