Injury to Geraint Jones signalled a premature return to Kent, opening the door for the youngster's debut (©GettyImages)
Injury to Geraint Jones signalled a premature return to Kent, opening the door for the youngster's debut (©GettyImages).

Gloucestershire injuries enforce schoolboy selection

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A long line of injuries behind the stumps backed Gloucestershire into having to call up a teenage schoolboy to play in their County Championship Division Two tie with Glamorgan at Bristol.

Patrick Grieshaber was the 17-year-old entrusted with the gloves, due to the fact that three of the side’s wicketkeepers are currently sidelined with injury.

This great opportunity for the teenager is likely to be one he cherishes forever. However, he isn’t even the youngest player in his position to have played first-class cricket in England.

That accolade still rests with Barney Gibson of Yorkshire, who – in 2011 – made his debut at the tender age of 15 years and 27 days against Durham MCCU.

The absences of Gareth Roderick and Cameron Herring already prompted the West Country county to enlist the services of Geraint Jones, who joined the club on loan from Kent in May.

The Ashes winner played in three four-day games for Gloucestershire, scoring 136 runs and claiming six catches. In addition, Jones played two T20 Blast contests, which yielded 50 runs from the diminutive batsman.

However an eye problem – consisting of a build-up of fluid behind the retina – forced him to return East again.

That opened the door for Herring to make the leap from the second XI, but a finger injury prevented the 19-year-old from filling in. Instead, the privilege was handed down to academy player, Grieshaber.

On his debut, the wicketkeeper batted at number nine, and spent nearly an hour at the crease during his maiden first-class outing.

Two boundaries during his 44-ball stay helped him to reach 10, before James Allenby caught him off the bowling of Dean Cosker.

That wicket almost signalled the culmination of the home side’s innings – Gloucestershire went on to add another 30 runs as they were all out for 391.

In hindsight, it appears as though that was something of a below-par score with the bat. By the close of play on day three, Glamorgan had progressed along to 569-7.

Grieshaber’s wait for a first dismissal goes on, and it could be a while before he is handed such a worthwhile experience.

Gloucestershire are expected to look to acquire another wicketkeeper on a short-term loan, with Herring and Roderick both out for several weeks more still.

Hamish Marshall’s side currently sit sixth in Division Two of the County Championship, but the hunt for promotion seems futile as they are already 58 points behind second-placed Worcestershire.

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