William Robert Simon Gidman
February 14, 1985, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Left hand bat
Right arm medium
Wycliffe College, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire; Berkshire College of Agriculture
Will Gidman spent four years at Durham and only played for the first XI once, working in Sports Direct to top up his income. But Gloucestershire gave him a new opportunity and he immediately proved himself a late bloomer to become one of the leading allrounders in the country.
His consistent form earned him a move to Nottinghamshire for the 2015 season. By the middle of 2016, he was on his way again, this time to Kent, and after a successful loan spell they signed him permanently for 2017.
Gidman wasted no time in proving his talent when given the chance by Gloucestershire in 2011, becoming the first player in 15 years to achieve the double of 1000 runs and 50 wickets and the seventh to do so in in his debut Championship season. His maiden century - 116 not out - came in defeat against Northamptonshire at Bristol but his first five-wicket haul, 5 for 38 against Kent at Cheltenham, came in a better cause as Gloucestershire won a Championship match at the College ground for the first time in 11 years.
Gidman endured a long road to success. He spent three years with MCC Young Cricketers before signing for Durham in 2007. He made his first-class debut against Sri Lanka A but in three more years at the Riverside failed to make another first-class appearance, not being able to force his way into Durham's strong Championship side which claimed back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.
He only played two List A matches in 2010, prompting a move away from the north-east at the end of the season to join Gloucestershire, captained by his elder brother, Alex. In four seasons at Bristol, he averaged 21 with the ball three times, twice eclipsing the 50 wicket mark and also making very useful runs, including three centuries in 2014.
In 2013 against Leicestershire at Bristol, he chalked himself up on a unique list by making a hundred and taking 10 wickets in the match - becoming only the fifth Gloucestershire player to achieve the feat after WG Grace, Charlie Townsend, Charlie Barnett and Mike Procter. He was also the first to do it at Nevil Road.
Nottinghamshire proved to be a cul-de-sac but he had more joy at Kent as he added depth to both bowling and batting and became an integral part of a promotion campaign that narrowly failed: his conscientious unbeaten 99 against Sussex at Hove, as he ran out of partners one run short of what would have been his sixth first-class century, was among the highlights. He retired in 2018.
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