Will Gidman, the younger brother of Gloucestershire captain Alex, completed the rare double of 1,000 runs and 50 wickets in County Championship cricket during the West Country team’s final four-day match of the summer against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road.
The last player to achieve this double in county cricket was West Indian Phil Simmons for Leicestershire in 1996, while the last Englishman to do this double in the Championship was David Capel of Northamptonshire who took 51 wickets and scored 1,260 runs in 1989.
However, what makes Gidman minor’s feat even more notable is that this was his first summer of Championship cricket having joined Gloucestershire after four years on the Durham staff during which time he made just 16 appearances in one-day games, besides playing for the North-east county against Sri Lanka A in 2007.
In fact, Gidman is only the seventh player overall to achieve the feat in a debut season in the Championship, and as unearthed by Keith Walmsley – the Statistical Officer of The Cricket Society – Gidman achieved the feat in fewer matches than any of the previous six, all of whom had played in first-class cricket outside the UK before taking part in the premier county competition.
The Gloucestershire all-rounder reached the 1000/50 double in only his 16th Championship appearance. The previous fastest double had been by legendary West Indian all-rounder Garry Sobers who achieved the feat on his 18th appearance for Nottinghamshire in 1968.
Clive Rice, the South African all-rounder reached the landmark in his 20th game – also for Nottinghamshire – while Australian Bill Alley took 21 games in 1957 for Somerset. Ken Grieves of Lancashire and New South Wales did the double in his 24th county match in 1949, while Vic Jackson of Leicestershire and New South Wales, plus Tony Greig of Sussex and Border, both reached this double in their 26th championship matches of 1946 and 1967 respectively.
Remarkably, Gidman had also played fewer first-class matches than any of the others before making his Championship debut for Gloucestershire earlier this summer against Derbyshire at Bristol. Of the list below, Greig was the previous novice with just a trio of first-class appearances prior to his Sussex debut, while Sobers was the most experienced, having played in 208 first-class games prior to his debut for Nottinghamshire.
Table – 1000 runs and 50 wickets in debut season in the County Championship:
VE Jackson 1946 1025 runs @ 25.00 and 81 wickets @ 21.90
KJ Grieves 1949 1177 runs @ 33.62 and 51 wickets @ 29.80
WE Alley 1957 1310 runs @ 26.73 and 64 wickets @ 20.12
AW Greig 1967 1193 runs @ 26.51 and 63 wickets @ 24.52
GS Sobers 1968 1570 runs @ 44.85 and 83 wickets @ 22.67
CEB Rice 1975 1128 runs @ 33.17 and 53 wickets @ 25.73
WRS Gidman 2011 1006 runs @ 45.72 and 51 wickets @ 21.33