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Harry Podmore In Line For Glamorgan Debut As County Gear Up For Fresh Promotion Challenge

By Peter Miller

Harry Podmore is set to make his Glamorgan debut on Thursday when they open their LV=County Championship Division Two campaign at home to Gloucestershire.

Podmore has been named in head coach Matthew Maynard’s squad for the game at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff as Glamorgan bid again to earn promotion after their near miss last season.

But they begin their campaign without overseas stars Marnus Labuschagne and Michael Neser, as both Australians arrive the week after the opening fixture of the summer.

Glamorgan have retained the services of their three overseas players with Labuschagne, Neser and Colin Ingram all with the club this summer.

The big departure was that of Michael Hogan who changed his mind about retiring and joined Kent for the 2023 season.

Podmore moved the other way, and he will strengthen Glamorgan’s bowling, but the loss of the talismanic Hogan has left a large hole in their attack.

Last year was the first time Glamorgan have put together a serious push for promotion since 2010.

The question for the county in 2023 is if they can back that up with the same level of consistent performances in the Championship, especially without the services of Hogan, who was their leading wicket taker in the competition last season.

Having started last season with a makeshift top order, things look a lot more settled for Glamorgan this year.

They have an established opening pair of David Lloyd and Eddie Byrom and a middle order engine room of Sam Northeast, Labuschagne, Billy Root and Kiran Carlson which should see them put up some big scores in this early season.

This is a big year for Carlson who failed to kick on last year after a breakthrough season in 2021.

A hugely talented middle order batter, Carlson has real potential to push for international recognition, but needs to consistently make big runs for that to happen.

He has had a successful winter spell as an overseas player in Zimbabwe and should be full of confidence at the start of the new season.

Their promotion chances may depend much on the early season form of Labuschagne, who joins from mid-April until the World Test Championship gets underway in June.

If Labuschagne and the rest of the Glamorgan middle order can make big scores in the first six games of the season it will have set a fantastic platform for a push for Division One cricket in 2024.

Captain David Lloyd said: β€œWe’re so excited to be starting the season at home in Cardiff, it feels like the perfect place to get our campaign off to a great start.

β€œThe boys have had a very good pre-season with the bowlers getting plenty of miles in the legs and the batters spending time at the crease. We are ready and raring to go.

“Gloucestershire will pose a tough challenge having just come down from Division One, but we know a good performance against them will set us up for what we hope will be a fruitful season.”

Gloucestershire recruited seamer Marchant de Langer from neighbours Somerset towards the end of last season as a new player for 2023 and the former Glamorgan bowler could make a debut against one of his old clubs.

Gloucestershire concentrated on extending the contracts of their existing squad, but with David Payne sidelined until the Vitality Blast following ankle surgery, they have further strengthened their seam attack by signing 24-year-old Zaman Akhter, who played second XI cricket for Essex last summer, on a one-year deal.

The visitors won their last two Championship fixtures of last season against Warwickshire and Yorkshire, but they were the only victories of a 14-game campaign, which featured eight defeats and ended with Gloucestershire propping up the Division One table, 24 points behind second-from-bottom Yorkshire.

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