Gloucestershire have named wicketkeeper-batsman Gareth Roderick as their four-day captain ahead of the 2016 Specsavers County Championship season.
The 24-year-old, who recently signed a three-year contract extension, will take charge of captaincy with overseas player Michael Klinger retaining his role as captain in the limited-overs format.
Although taking the reins as captain is a new experience for Roderick, the calming influence of the likes of previous skippers Klinger and recently-retired Alex Gidman will hold him in good stead.
“It’s such a privilege. Not a lot of people have had, or will have the chance to lead this county and it’s a great honour,” he said.
“It is an exciting time to be taking over the helm of four-day cricket here. It is a club moving in the right direction. That’s why I signed a three-year contract extension recently and why I took this challenge on as well.”
With only one side being promoted from Division Two of the County Championship this summer, Roderick, who averages 40 in first-class cricket, is relishing the prospect of challenging for promotion to the first tier.
— Gloucestershire CCC (@Gloscricket) March 16, 2016
“I think every side in Division Two starts with that as their aim and we certainly do as well,” Roderick added.
“It is going to be even tougher now with only one side going up but we will be fighting hard to be in the mix.”
Gloucestershire head coach Richard Dawson believes the South African-born wicketkeeper, who played an integral part in their Royal London One-Day Cup triumph last year, has all of the qualities to lead the side at the Bristol County Ground.
“Over the winter Gareth has shown a great desire to improve his own game and a willingness to take on bigger leadership roles,” Dawson said.
“He has been around the club for a few years now, he is an integral part of our four-day team and has the qualities to lead the side.
“He speaks his mind, is very clear in what he wants to achieve and has the full backing of the dressing room. There are a number of senior players in there who will able to support him and it’s a great opportunity for him.”