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August 15, 2014
Will Gidman, the Gloucestershire allrounder widely - and paradoxically - hymned as the most underrated cricketer in the country, is to join Nottinghamshire from next season.
Gidman has repeatedly provided compelling evidence of his abilities in Division Two and, with his contract running up, was subject to interest from several counties - though his departure has led to John Bracewell, Gloucestershire's director of cricket, describing Nottinghamshire's approach as "a little bit parasitic".
Bracewell confirmed that Gloucestershire were unable to offer a comparable deal to Gidman, who turns 30 next February and was understood to favour a move further north, to be nearer to his wife's family.
"We were unable to keep him financially - that's the bottom line of it," Bracewell said. "Our budget reduces again this year and we are just unable to compete with the big boys, which is a shame. There are some clubs that are a little bit parasitic and there are some clubs that spend a lot of time developing players, and economically they just can't hold onto them. The big-paying Test clubs just cherry pick the biggest apples at the top of the tree.
"Until we become a destination club and put ourselves financially in the right position this is going to happen, so it's a warning to our club."
In recent years, Nottinghamshire have taken the likes of Stuart Broad, James Taylor and Harry Gurney from Leicestershire, as well as signing Graeme Swann from Northamptonshire. Aside from their financial muscle, Nottinghamshire are able to offer Division One cricket and a greater chance of silverware, having won two Championship titles under Mick Newell as well as last season's YB40 Trophy.
Newell said Gidman's signing on a three-year contract was aimed at strengthening the all-round options at his disposal. "We've lost some experience players in recent years and the likes of Paul Franks and Andre Adams had given our side a balance that we may have lacked next season without taking action," Newell said.
"Will is the perfect fit in that he's a good all-round cricketer who can take the new ball or bowl first change and bat in the middle order. He's taken advantage of the opportunities that he's been given at Gloucestershire and it's pleasing that he has chosen to sign for us when he had several teams fighting for him."
Gidman joined Gloucestershire, and his brother Alex, from Durham in 2011 and became only the seventh player in the history of the Championship to score 1000 runs and take 50 wickets in his debut season. He has since compiled 2629 first-class runs at 39.83 and 190 wickets at 21.86, as well as an improving record in limited-overs cricket. This season he has once again been a mainstay for Bracewell's side, leading the wicket-taking charts and averaging more than 50 with the bat.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with Gloucestershire and I'm grateful for them for giving me my opportunity four years ago," Gidman said. "I have been flattered by the interest from around the country but I felt that Nottinghamshire was the perfect fit for my cricket and my family. Nottinghamshire are consistently in the trophy hunt and I am very much looking forward to playing my cricket at Trent Bridge for the next three seasons."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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