London: England One-day specialist Jeremy Snape said he was struggling to come to terms Friday with Gloucestershire's decision not to offer him a new contract for next season.
The 29-year-old off spinner has recently been on England duty at the Champions Trophy tournament in Sri Lanka. But he was dropped from Gloucestershire's county championship team in May and restricted to One-day league appearances where he helped the west country side gain promotion to the first division. Snape was reported to have had a major falling out with Gloucestershire coach and former New Zealand off spinner John Bracewell, who earned the nickname of the 'Grave Digger' during his international career. The rumours were confirmed on Friday by a club statement citing a 'very poor' relationship between player and management. Gloucestershire also said it could not afford to pay high wages on a player who was not a first team regular. Snape said, "I was looking forward to playing the rest of my career with Gloucestershire so it's obviously very disappointing. I look back on the last four years with wonderful memories of the team success and the great friendships which I will keep for many years." From next season English counties will be able to employ two overseas players. And Snape, also a useful middle-order batsman, would have faced an even tougher fight for a place in the side with South Africa star Jonty Rhodes due to arrive at Bristol. Gloucestershire's statement said, "His (Snape's) relationship with the cricket management over the past 18 months has been very poor and reached a stage where we don't think it will improve. "Further, competition for places in the middle order and lower middle order will be fierce next year and we want to give every chance to a number of young all-rounders with considerable potential. "We, therefore, feel opportunities for Jeremy, particularly in the four-day game, could well be limited and accordingly we cannot justify the sort of salary he is entitled to." Snape joined Gloucestershire from Northamptonshire in 1999, helping it to win five trophies in his first two seasons. Despite his subsequent problems at county level England, whose chairman of selectors David Graveney is himself a former Gloucestershire off spinner, has kept faith with Snape. And given that backing, Snape should secure another county deal elsewhere. "My immediate priority is to try and secure a contract with another club," Snape said. "Once I have done this and the news has sunk in I may be in a position to reflect further."
Robert Key replaces Thorpe in England's Ashes party