By Callum Dent
The release of the 2015 domestic cricket fixtures at 10.30am tomorrow will be met with great anticipation in the Gidman household.
Brothers Will and Alex’s four-year spell as Gloucestershire team-mates ended at the climax of the 2014 season after the pair opted to leave the Bristol County Ground in favour of moves to Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire respectively.
And the latter’s promotion sees the siblings go head-to-head in LV= County Championship Division One next term, as well as in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group.
Alex has had limited success when facing Will, who represented Durham in the early stages of his career, in the past.
In a Friends Provident Trophy fixture in May 2009, Will – playing his first game for Durham – claimed family bragging rights by trapping Alex lbw for just 10 in the heavy 148-run defeat to Gloucestershire.
With that statistic in mind, Alex is hoping the fixtures are kind and that he does not have to face Will at the start of the English season when conditions are likely to favour his accurate seam bowling.
In an exclusive interview with ecb.co.uk, Alex said: “We haven’t really spoken about it. I have faced him enough now to know what he can do with it.
“He is a really skilful bowler. I am hoping I don’t come across him too early in the season when conditions really suit him! It would be nice to get him further down the line in the season.
“He has come on so much in the last couple of years and, unfortunately for me and rest of the batters in Division One, he is going to be more of a threat with some really good quality around him and the depth of quality he is going to have around him up there.
“He is going to fit into an attack that is going to be really dangerous.”
After Will announced he was leaving in mid-August, Gloucestershire supporters suffered a double blow when long-serving Alex, the former club captain, announced his departure just over a month later.
Although it left Gloucestershire with two gaping holes to fill, Alex believes the time was right for both to move on to pastures new.
“Will started his career up at Durham, we didn’t start together,” the former England A skipper said.
“We had a really enjoyable four or five years, really enjoyable, we loved every minute of it.
Firstly, just want to thank @Gloscricket for a wonderful 4 years. I’m very grateful for a great send off, thank you for all the support.
— Will Gidman (@wgiddo) October 20, 2014
Secondly, can’t wait to get started @TrentBridge incredibly excited for whatever lies ahead!
— Will Gidman (@wgiddo) October 20, 2014
“We spent a lot of time together travelling and live close to each other, so we have had some really good times.
“At the end of the day, life moves on, he seeked a new challenge and I seeked a new challenge.
“Hopefully we will both get the rewards that we are both individually after. We both moved for different reasons and naturally as my brother I am going to wish him all the success and hopes he has a really successful year or two up at Nottinghamshire.”
Despite the duo moving in different directions, Alex is adamant his younger brother will take little time to settle into life at Trent Bridge.
He said: “He is a pretty fun, outgoing guy. He will settle in very quickly; there is some great lads up there.
“I have been luckily enough to know a few of them. A few years ago I spent some time with a couple of them on certain ‘A’ tours and know they are great blokes.
“Like myself, he is going to be quite nervous and anxious about moving up there. A move for anyone is quite tough, but he will be fine.
“They are a top club and I am sure he will be looked after very well.”
Since linking up with Alex at Gloucestershire in 2011, Will has used the four seasons of regular first-team cricket to transform himself into one of the most consistent all-rounders in the UK.
The 29-year-old hit the ground running for his new county, becoming the first player to achieve the double of 1,000 runs and 50 wickets in a debut campaign, and has continued that form ever since.
Alex always knew his brother, who struck his third century of the season on his final home appearance, was a capable lower-order batsman, it is the quality of his bowling that has surprised him the most.
The 33-year-old added: “I always knew he could bat, I must admit. I never had any concerns about his batting. From a young boy he has always been a very good batsman.
“I think the unknown with Will was how his bowling was going to shape up against high-class batsman and that in a naturally-positive way has really surprised me and a few others.
“Batting was never really a surprise to us in the family, certainly myself and my father, but the way he is bowling, the amount of wickets and the type of batsmen he has got out that has stood out.
“He has got the best batsmen out, he doesn’t come up and mop up the tail. He gets the best batsmen out which is a sign of a decent bowler.”
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