No ordinary Joe, says Gatting
Joe Gatting has the ability to carve out own success in county cricket in his own right, says his uncle, the former England captain Mike Gatting.
Gatting senior, now ECB managing director of cricket partnerships and a giant at county level for Middlesex for over two decades, belives Joe has timed his conversion from football to cricket to perfection.
Joe, 21, from Brighton, was a striker with Brighton & Hove Albion for three seasons, but turned his back on football in 2008 to pursue the summer game. And uncle Mike had been concerned that his time had gone.
“It’s nice to see him actually get a chance,” Mike Gatting told Episode 6 of the TwelfthMan Podcast.
“I was worried that he probably wouldn’t because I know that a lot of people who spoke to me when he had to make the choice, said to me he was streets ahead of anyone in his age-group.
“But actually, had he tried two or three years ago, when Sussex were very strong and had some wonderful players, he might have struggled.
“But right about they might be looking for someone to come to the forefront. There might be a need for him to take over a difficult job of opening the batting in county cricket.
“He is a talented cricketer, I’ve played with him once or twice. He might have timed his decision extroadinarily well.”
One of the finest captains in the county game, Gatting senior sees mixed blessings in the surname Joe bears. Joe’s father, Steve Gatting, also turned his hand at cricket for Middlesex Second XI and combined professional football with club cricket.
“The Gatting name might be a help or a hindrance,” says Mike. “But I think Sussex have done their homework. He’d shown his keeness to still want to play if football went wrong for him. They’ve always kept an eye on him.
“I thought that after the Pro ARCH Trophy a few counties might have a look at him. But Sussex have got him in and taken a punt, only because he made himself proud by getting a hundred in Dubai. So it gave them some ammunition.”