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The writing was on the wall

Former Gloucestershire captain Alex Gidman on realising the end of his career was nigh, and how chronicling his feelings helped him cope with the sense of loss

Tossing and turning in my hotel room in Canterbury in late August 2014, getting more and more frustrated with myself for not being able to get to sleep.

We had a huge game the next day, a Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final in which I was the stand-in captain for the club I love, Gloucestershire. I flicked on the bedside light and grabbed the pen and paper that was there and wrote, “I’m angry, frustrated and sad”. I turned the light off and went to sleep in a flash. It was almost like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, just by simply writing a few words down on a piece of paper.

Without knowing it at the time, that night was the start of the end of my career. The following days after I wrote those words I spent hours trying to figure out what I meant – why did I write them?

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About The Cricketer Magazine

England’s greatest batsmen – we asked 27 experts to name their top 5, and collated the results. There are some fascinating choices! The superb Simon Barnes, with the best turn of phrase in sports journalism, on England’s year so far. The feisty Jarrod Kimber on the state of play in Australian cricket. The elegant and massively under-rated David Townsend on Adelaide Oval. A lovely piece on the greatness of Dennis Lillee, by Simon Hughes. A forensic look at the problems at Sussex, by the man in the know, Bruce Talbot.