Thursday, 6 April 2017
The big moment is here. Expectations are at fever pitch. The night before a big event is always so exciting and, like kids around the Christmas tree, the Jessop Tavern View is going to attempt to rattle a couple of boxes and hope against hope that our wishes come true.
Chris Dent to average more than 50 over the course of the championship.The time is now for Dent to really stamp his mark on the county circuit. Years of promise, but always as part of the supporting cast to those bigger names, is now rolled away and Dent is the main man. Potentially the only man. But certainly the man who needs to deliver big runs in 2017. 2016 is his benchmark. We reckon Dent will push on in 2017. 1,500 runs. 5 hundreds. An average over 50. Easy. Otherwise we'll start with the Alex Gidman parallels.
Craig Miles to finish as division 2's leading wicket taker.Can he stay fit? If the answer is yes then we don't think this is as unlikely as it may seem. Miles has always taken wickets. 170 in just 44 matches, but doing consistently all summer has been his challenge. If he can stay fit then we predict a big summer, and a move down the road to Taunton to inevitably follow.
Ian Cockbain to top 1,000 championship runs.We love Cockbain. We don't know why. We just do. It defies logic. 2016 was his year in the T20 Blast, sadly condemning himself to being consider even more a mere one day player. But we think he still has the potential to translate that T20 maturity into championship runs. Plus, we have no one else to score any runs. We reckon coming in at 6 and being given the opportunity to use his one day skills to change games might just free him up. But then we are biased.
Alfred the Gorilla to retain his T20 finals day race crown.It was the great, unmentioned, cricket controversy from 2016. Despite being comprehensively out-gassed for the duration, the controversial no spinning round the final pole gave Alfred the Gorilla (yes, the Shire's mascot really is a gorilla) a surge across the final strait to then impressively dive across the finish line to win the mascots race at T20 finals day. Gloucestershire's only silverware in 2016 quite possible remains their best hope of silverware in 2017.
Can Glos live up to these predictions? Does anyone have any further ideas? Feel free to let us know!
Finally the big one. We reckon a respectable 4th place finish with the Shire still in the mix come September.