Bristol born Bracey continues to flourish
18 May 2019
Over the course of the last six weeks, James “Bobby” Bracey has made his List A debut, recorded an unbeaten century, scored a terrific 152, picked up three other half-centuries and celebrated his 22nd birthday.
Not a bad start to the County season for one of Gloucestershire’s own.
Bristol-born Bracey hit fine form right as the season started, beginning with a century on tour in La Manga in the second One-Day match against Glamorgan where he scored 122 runs off 64 balls.
James has been a mainstay at the top of the batting order for County Championship games but until this season had yet to feature in the Royal London One-Day Cup. Stepping in for an injured Ian Cockbain for the match against Middlesex, Bracey laid claim to his spot in the Gloucestershire One-Day side when he scored 83 off 61 in his List A debut at Lord’s.
That performance was followed up by an impressive 67 against Kent that helped Gloucestershire to their second win of the One-Day Cup campaign.
Gloucestershire finished the Royal London One-Day Cup season in fourth place, narrowly missing out on the knockout stages but Bracey scored an unbeaten century of 113 in the final game at Essex to give the Club every chance of making it through. That same game, he also picked up his first List A wicket.
Speaking after the final game at Chelmsford Bracey said, “I’ve learnt a lot playing throughout this competition and looking at how other players played against us. I’ve learnt that you’ve got to take it deep, use all the time you’ve got and then cash in at the back end when you’re going well”.
One worry for any Head Coach would be how players transition from one format to another but that seemed to be no trouble for Bobby who constructed a tremendous 152 score in the side’s return to the County Championship at Glamorgan.
Patience and maturity with the bat at the age of 22 is a quality James has over many of his peers at the same level. Knowing when to capitalize on poor bowling is another strong trait of his and one of the reasons why he has found the boundary so well to begin the year.
James became a part of the Gloucestershire Cricket Academy setup in 2015 and has followed in the footsteps of fellow first team players like Chris Dent and David Payne to graduate from the Academy to the first team.
First representing Gloucestershire in age group cricket that the age of 11, James has risen through the ranks at the Club and is now one of the most promising English talents in the country.
In 2016, James made his first-class debut for Gloucestershire Cricket in the final game of the season against Sussex. Prior to his debut he had scored a century for Loughborough University CC against Australian Universities as well as 101 and 90 for the Gloucestershire second XI against Lancashire and Warwickshire.
Signing his first professional contract at the Club just before the beginning of the 2018 season at the age of 20, Bracey went on to impress becoming the second highest run scorer for Gloucestershire in that year’s County Championship. He finished the season with 785 runs at an average of 32.70 with two centuries under his belt.
James signed a contract extension at Gloucestershire shortly after the end of the 2018 season, ensuring his development at the Club will continue until the end of the 2021 campaign.
You can watch Bracey in action at Cheltenham College when Gloucestershire take on Lancashire in the Specsavers County Championship on Monday 27 May. Click here for tickets