ADAM Rouse is looking forward to returning to Hampshire today as Gloucestershire’s FIFTH wicketkeeper of the season.
Released by Hampshire at the end of last summer, Rouse’s hopes of a professional career have been boosted by an impressive start to his one-month trial.
The 22 year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has already made as many first-team appearances for Gloucestershire as he did for Hampshire, who he plays against in the LV County Championship this week.
“My time at Hampshire was very enjoyable but being released after a successful season in the second team was very disappointing,” said Rouse, who first played for the county in the Under-11s, soon after his family moved from Zimbabwe to Basingstoke.
“When that was taken away from me it was difficult. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, with so many good wicketkeepers and batsmen at the club.
“But being released by Hampshire is the best thing that could have happened me. I’ve already played more first-team cricket than I would have done if I’d stayed.”
Rouse was snapped up by Gloucestershire because of finger fractures to teenager Cameron Herring and Gareth Roderick while former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones had his loan from Kent cut short by an eye injury.
Academy rookie Patrick Grieshaber made his debut as a stop-gap before Rouse’s began his trial, which will include four more T20 games and two Championship matches.
After an abandonment at Lord’s, Rouse starred on his home debut with an unbeaten 35 from only 16 balls as Gloucestershire beat Kent by three wickets off the final ball of their T20 Blast match at Bristol last Friday.
Rouse came in at 89-5, after former Hampshire academy teammate Benny Howell departed for 26, and hit five fours and a six as Gloucestershire chased down Kent’s 150-6.
Then he celebrated his 22nd birthday with three catches, either side of knocks of 28 and 49 in the LV County Championship, albeit in a defeat against Essex at Chelmsford.
“There’s no pressure on me, I’m just trying to enjoy my cricket,” said Rouse, who made up for a golden duck in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Friday night with two catches as Gloucestershire beat Sussex in the Natwest T20 Blast.
“It’s been a great experience so far, it’s just a case of not looking too far ahead and appreciating the opportunity I’ve been given.
“To come into a situation when we were down and out and get the boys over the line was very nice and not one I thought I’d have at the start of the season. “It was a very difficult winter, I qualified as a personal trainer but my hope and enthusiasm was crushed a tiny bit when I didn’t get much back after contacting a lot of counties.
“But I owed it to my parents, who have supported me so much, and to myself after putting so much time and effort into my career, to give it another crack.
“I’m with Gloucestershire till July 27 but if nothing comes from it at least I’m now in the shop window.”