Young South African did well for Cheltenham last season
11:52am Saturday 2nd March 2013 in Sport
GARETH RODERICK is looking forward to his first season with Gloucestershire, having been the top run-scorer in the West of England Premier League last season.
The young South African proved an outstanding success playing for Cheltenham in 2012 and also impressed in several second XI appearances for the county.
Roderick has an excellent cricketing background in South Africa, having attended the same school, Maritzburg College, as Kevin Pietersen and Jonti Rhodes.
The opening bat/wicketkeeper has enjoyed previous stints in the UK but it was the West of England Premier League that he took by storm last season.
"Cheltenham is a great club and they were good enough to release me from my duties with them in midweek to play second XI cricket for Gloucestershire, which was awesome," said Roderick.
"I didn’t have the greatest start for Cheltenham because I managed to get a first-ball duck in my opening game, which must have made them wonder who they had signed.
"I got a ton in the next game and just carried on from there, scoring a few more centuries and making more than 1,200 runs.
"I was fortunate that Steve Cashmore, the head coach at Cheltenham, has ties with Gloucestershire and put in a word or two for me, which was very helpful.
"I had a trial game for the county in the second XI against Sussex at Hove, making 41 at the top of the order in a 40-over match and 38 in the three-day match. I must have played six or seven second team games in all and I got a hundred in my second against Leicestershire at Bristol."
Roderick also expects to develop the technical side of his keeping this year.
"I am looking forward to working with Richard Coughtrie and Jack Russell, which will be a real privilege. I am very keen to learn and hopefully being with those guys will bring about an improvement in my game.
"I certainly don’t think I deserve to be first choice keeper straight away.
"I prefer the role of opener because it’s the one I have always filled and I went in first in most of my second XI cricket for Gloucestershire last season.
"But obviously in the modern era it is asking a lot to keep wicket and open in four-day cricket, so I’ll be happy to contribute wherever it is felt best in the batting order."