By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
DEVON take on Dorset at Sidmouth tomorrow (Sunday) in in a 50-over county match.
There may be no competitive cricket on the National Counties circuit this summer following the cancellation of the T20 competition, but county team managers want to get some games in.
Dorset have already had a double date against Wiltshire in the T20 format as they start planning for the hoped-for resumption of normal hostilities in 2021.
Devon have five matches planned between now and the end of August – two T20s in one day against Dorset at North Perrrot – and no one is more pleased than team chief Dave Tall.
“There are bound to be people who see friendly cricket as a waste of time, but I am not one of them,” said Tall.
“Devon has a sizeable number of young players coming out of the under-16 and development programmes at the moment – and some are knocking on the door of the full county side already.
“Games like the one against Dorset at Sidmouth give myself and the captain the chance to see who is coming through and what they can do.
“We will mix it up as we go along to give as many players as possible a decent chance.
“Results won’t be as important as the learning going on – us about the players, the players about what is required at the next level up – although we will be playing to win.”
Tall has a lengthy list of players in the 17-22 age-group he would like to look at and among the first are Cornwood batter Ben Beaumont and Plympton’s Elliot Hamilton.
“Ben is a player with a lot of potential – he showed that with 50 against Wiltshire last season – and this is a chance for him to play against the sort of opposition he could be facing soon,” said Tall.
“Elliot Hamilton is a player I think a lot of with a consistent record in league cricket – and he is a left-hander, which is always useful to have in the side.”
One player Tall has scrubbed from the ‘possibles’ list is Exmouth’s hard hitting batsman Louis Morison, who clattered 146 off 63 balls in a T20 cup game against Cullompton recently.
“Louis has just signed a contract with Exeter City and that’s ruled him out for the time being,” said Tall.
Devon (squad): A W R Barrow (Sidmouth), Z G G Bess (Sidmouth), J W Baird (North Perrott/Somerset Academy), M C Golding (Bovey Tracey), J A Stevens (Taunton Deane), B A Beaumont (Cornwood), D J Pyle (Heathcoat), E W O Middleton (Exeter), D J Goodey (Plymouth), H M Whitlock (Bovey Tracey), E Hamilton (Plympton).
Umpires: R G B Allen & K Jacobs