The nephew of former England skipper Mike Gatting, Joe opted to take the opposite route to his father, Steve, in choosing to play cricket.
Steve made a handful of appearances for Middlesex’s second XI before embarking upon a successful football career, in which he played for Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup final.
Yet Joe turned to cricket with Sussex despite spending three years with Brighton, for whom he made 44 appearances.
That decision appeared inspired when he struck 152 on first-class debut, albeit against Cambridge MCCU, after which he impressed in the LV= County Championship in a handful of games in 2009.
Things went awry the following year as Gatting averaged 14.09 in eight four-day matches, but a return of 407 runs - at an average of 45 - in six Division One games in 2011 suggested he was finding his feet.