Charlie Ward – first-time call-up for the Devon Lions<br>credit: Conrad Sutcliffe

ETHAN Guest and Charlie Ward are first-time inclusions in a Devon Lions’ side for Sunday’s 50-over challenge match against a Gloucestershire Academy XI at Exeter.

Paignton pace bowler Ward looks half a yard sharper after playing Grade cricket in Australia during the past two UK winters– and has been scoring some runs as well.

Ethan Guest in league action for BridestoweGuest, Bridestowe’s most significant signing over the winter, has hit the ground running for his new club since moving to the area from East Anglia, where he previously played in the Sawston & Babraham side that won the Premier Division in 2021.

Hatherleigh and Callington both tried and failed to sign Guest, who has also played Premier cricket in Sussex with Eastbourne and appeared for Bexhill, where he went through the youth system, Little Common Ramblers and West Chiltington & Thakeham.

A five-wicket haul for Bridestowe against Torquay & Kingskerswell earlier in the season – Lions coach Tim Western was one of his victims – raised Guest’s profile with the county management.

There are no real surprises in the match-day 12 – only 11 will be allowed to bat – which includes form players Lawrence Walker (Sandford) and Teddy Haffenden (Plymouth).

James Horler, the senior side’s white-ball captain, has agreed to play, which Western sees as a positive move.

“It will be beneficial to the wider, senior squad to have James’ influence and first-hand communication as to where he is trying to take Devon in the white-ball format,” said Western.   

Traditionally, Devon have had strong links with Gloucestershire were players such as Jack Davey, David Shepherd, Bob Dawson, Ryan Horrell and Matt Hunt have all been on the staff.

A more recent graduate from Devon to Gloucestershire is leg-spinning all-rounder Ed Middleton (pictured, below), who played in a similar game two years ago.

Said Western: "This fixture provides a shop window for players who are keen to play professionally.

“Ed Middleton’s progress into the first-class game was aided by doing well in games like this.”

Devon Lions (from): J A W Ford (Bideford), A J Small (Sandford), S J Elstone (Sidmouth), H J Passenger (Torquay & Kingskerswell), E Guest (Bridestowe), M R Jeacock (Sandford), S E H Ansley (Bovey Tracey), T W Mitch (Plymstock), C W B Ward (Paignton) T J Haffenden (Plymouth), L S Walker (Sandford), J D Horler (Exmouth).Ed Middleton bowling for Devon against Gloucestershire when the two sides met in 2022