James Robert Bracey
May 03, 1997, Bristol
Left hand bat
Right arm medium
James Bracey benefited from the fact England were forced to name enlarged squads during the Covid era of international cricket, with an innings of 85 in an intra-squad warm-up match at the Ageas Bowl in June 2020 confirming the management's hunch that he was a player of international calibre. Bracey, a defensive wicketkeeper-batter who bats in the top three for Gloucestershire, had long been earmarked as a future England player, being selected for spin camps and Lions tours despite a first-class average in the mid-30s.
A product of Winterbourne CC and the Gloucestershire academy, made his first-class debut for Loughborough University CC against the Australian Universities in May 2016. His Gloucestershire debut followed - as a specialist batsman - in the final Championship match of the season against Sussex at Bristol.
The following year, in spite of playing only four Championship matches, he could take pleasure in finding himself top of Gloucestersire's batting averages thanks to a career-best 156 against Glamorgan in Cardiff.
Bracey's two Championship centuries in 2018 were determined, backs-to-the-wall affairs. He lingered seven-and-a-half hours for 120 in a Gloucestershire defeat against Glamorgan at Bristol and also dug in for five-and-a-half hours for 125 against Middlesex at Lord's to save the game after Gloucestershire had followed on - two innings much out of tune with impatient times.
His returns in 2019 were unspectacular but earned him spots on England's spin camp to Mumbai and the Lions tour to Australia, and he spent much of the next 12 months learning how to mix drinks in England's biosecure bubbles. When he was eventually released at the start of 2021, his Championship returns suggested he was ready to make the step up.
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