CHRIS DENT is being groomed as a future Gloucestershire skipper and is taking on more responsibility this season after being named vice-captain.
Although director of cricket John Bracewell is trying to convince current captain Michael Klinger to extend his stay beyond the end of this year, he knows he will have to find a successor for the Australian eventually and has already begun to put plans in place.
Thornbury CC product Dent, 23, led Gloucestershire during their opening pre-season friendly victory over Glamorgan and Bracewell wants him to work closer with Klinger this year.
“I see him as a future leader and we have to develop that skill,” said Bracewell.
“We have to have a succession plan of leadership and we see Chris as someone developing maturity.
“There are a couple of others, but first and foremost you have to secure your place in the side and there’s no doubt that Chris has done that in all forms of the game, barring injury and obviously form. He’s one of the first ones picked on the score sheet with leadership qualities.
“We would like to push him in with Hamish Marshall in a vice-captain’s role. They will share that role and work on the development of that particular skill.
“Good captaincy comes from experience of having good captains and Chris Dent is a guy that learnt so much from Michael and his demeanour last year, just as he has learnt a lot from having Alex Gidman stand next to him in the slips over the last couple of years.”
Bracewell is trying to convince Klinger to sign a new contract, revealing discussions began towards the end of last season.
“He is a very valuable asset to us and one we’d love to continue within this club, especially in the development of other leaders as well,” said Bracewell.
“He’s a very good captain in terms of running the dressing room and he is our best batter by a long way.”
Dent revealed becoming captain is one of his ambitions and he is relishing his new role.
The left-hander feels Klinger helped his development as a batsman last season, with the pair striking up a good opening partnership, and now Dent is keen to learn more from him as a leader.
“It (being vice-captain) is an honour, gives me a bit more responsibility and hopefully can help me think about the game some more.
"I get to spend more time around Michael, see what he does and how he goes about his business, which I’m looking forward to,” said Dent.
“Being an opening batter like he is, Michael will go out there with his pads on and show everyone how to do it so as a captain that’s a great skill to have that you’re willing to go out there and really lead from the front.
“It would be an honour (to be captain). I obviously wouldn’t turn it down if it came my way and it’s something I’ll look to aim for.”