Mark Alleyne is preparing to attack this season's Twenty20 Cup competition with home-grown players.
Mark Alleyne is preparing to attack this season's Twenty20 Cup competition with
tried and trusted home-grown players. Gloucestershire head for New Road and
a group qualifying game against neighbours Worcestershire on Friday without
overseas signings Shabbir Ahmed and Shoaib Malik, who are on Asia Cup duty with
Although the county have announced their intention to recruit New Zealand seam
bowler James Franklin as a short-term replacement, he is not available until
the end of the current NatWest one-day international series on July 10.
Gloucestershire are also close to signing an overseas batsman, but again, the
player is not expected to be available for the Twenty20 Cup group games. Head
coach Alleyne said: "All of my planning has been made with the assumption
that no overseas players will be available until the second half of July. I'm
preparing to go into the Twenty20 games with home-grown guys, the players who
have helped us win six one-day titles in five years."
He confirmed: "We are looking for a batter to replace Shoaib Malik and
we are talking to two or three people. But nothing has been sorted out yet.
As for James Franklin, he is playing for New Zealand in the one-day internationals
and will not be available to us until July 11 at the earliest."
Gloucestershire reached the inaugural Twenty20 Cup finals day last season, eventually
losing to Surrey in the last four at Trent Bridge. "We have guys here who
have proved they have the skills to play this game," said Alleyne. "Losing
Shabbir and Shoaib may be untimely, but we'll still be organised and strong."
While admitting the Glo'sters will be forced to alter their tactical approach
given the departure of Ian Harvey, Alleyne stressed the "basics" would
remain the same. He explained: "The first six overs of both innings are
key in this competition. You have to make sure you have the right men at the
top of the order and the right type of bowlers to take the new ball." While
big-hitting Craig Spearman and Harvey made a huge impact with the bat last summer,
Gloucestershire's success was chiefly attributable to their legion of slower
Alleyne said: "I've always been a big believer in slow bowling in these
games and that has not changed. Mike Smith, James Averis and I can all mix it
up, while Martyn Ball is a past master at restricting scoring. And we also have
Ian Fisher, who didn't feature in these games last year. He could help us develop
a new tactic and keep ourselves a step ahead of the opposition."
The head coach sounded a cautionary message to the batsmen, urging them not
to be panicked by the need to score quickly.
"There is always pressure to score runs quickly, but those sides who have
wickets in hand towards the end of their innings are the ones who normally win
through. Some of our guys found it hard when early wickets went down last season
and it's something we'll be discussing. Believe it or not, 20 overs offers plenty
of time to post a decent total, providing you adopt a calm approach!"
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