Brace your­self for a promis­ing ca­reer

Andy Stock­hausen meets a suc­cess­ful grad­u­ate of Glouces­ter­shire’s thriv­ing youth academy

The Cricket Paper - - REVIEW -

James

Bracey has good rea­son to be thank­ful for Glouces­ter­shire’s con­tin­ued pol­icy of pro­mot­ing young English-qual­i­fied crick­eters. De­spite the de­mands of study­ing for a sports sci­ence and man­age­ment de­gree at Lough­bor­ough Univer­sity and only be­ing avail­able for a small part of the county sea­son, the 20-year-old Bris­to­lian has made the most of the op­por­tu­ni­ties that have come his way this sum­mer.

Handed a first-class de­but against Sus­sex in Septem­ber 2016, Bracey has since built upon that foun­da­tion, es­tab­lish­ing him­self in Glouces­ter­shire’s top or­der dur­ing the fi­nal month of the cur­rent Cham­pi­onship cam­paign.

He has hand­somely re­paid the faith shown in him by head coach Richard Daw­son, an­nounc­ing him­self with a half cen­tury at Le­ices­ter, fol­low­ing up with a maiden first-class hun­dred in a match against Glam­or­gan at Cardiff and then mak­ing an­other mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion at the ex­pense of Der­byshire.

“It’s so im­por­tant to be given the chance,” ac­knowl­edged the 20-year-old left han­der, who learned the game at Win­ter­bourne CC in north Bris­tol be­fore join­ing the Glouces­ter­shire academy as a teenager.

“It’s all about scor­ing runs and tak­ing wick­ets. Pro­vid­ing you do that at Glouces­ter­shire, you will get an op­por­tu­nity. The coach is very even­handed when it comes to se­lec­tion and it doesn’t mat­ter who you are or what your name is.

“It’s based on merit not rep­u­ta­tion and you know that. If you score runs, you will get an op­por­tu­nity at some point.

“I had a lit­tle taste of first-class cricket at the end of last sea­son and it's been good to string a few games to­gether this time around.

“I’ve played for a cou­ple of months and now it’s back to Lough­bor­ough for the start of a new term.”

Re­call­ing his re­cent per­for­mance in Cardiff, Bracey added: “It was good to get that maiden hun­dred, be­cause you al­ways want to es­tab­lish your­self, no mat­ter what level you are at.

“If you look to bat time, you will al­ways score runs and that's how I like to play. There will be times when you chew up a lot of dot balls, but if you are pa­tient and dis­ci­plined, then runs will come in the end.”

PIC­TURE: David Grif­fin

Top talent: James Bracey has been in im­pres­sive form for Glouces­ter­shire

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