Knights weigh up new wicketkeeping options

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 26/07/2012

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Northern Knights coach Grant Bradburn says his side won't lack for a top-class wicketkeeper this summer.

The sudden retirement of veteran gloveman Peter McGlashan at the weekend has left the Knights without their regular keeper, while obvious replacement BJ Watling is likely to have Black Caps commitments throughout the 2012/13 season. However, Bradburn told the Waikato Times that they are already "looking at a number of options within and outside New Zealand".

"The phones been running hot," Bradburn said.

While the rest of the major associations named their 13 contracted players last weekend, Northern Districts named just nine, leaving their options open as they re-assessed the balance of their squad. The Knights have promising young keepers in Shane Gadsdon and Owen Ivins but it's likely they will opt for greater experience for the upcoming season.

"The timing of Pete's decision wasn't ideal for us, given that it clashed with the days of contract offers," Bradburn said of McGlashan's decision to take up a role as as director of sport and wellbeing for the Glenn Family Foundation.

"But it wasn't a surprise - we knew he was pro-active at looking at opportunities outside of the game. He has left us with a gap to fill, so we've allowed ourselves a bit of time to assess our list."

Bradburn said while searching for a replacement they have to consider "the different skills required for all three formats".

"You can't just develop the skills Pete has overnight," he said of the 33-year-old who deservedly earnt a reputation as an innovative strokemaker capable of destroying bowling attacks in the late stages of one-day and Twenty20 matches.

However, Bradburn said they were looking at the balance of all three sides, including their defence of the first-class Plunket Shield title, when searching for a new keeper.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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