Codd takes over as Lions captain for University curtain raiser

Ben Phillips - the Lions

DEVON’S development team opens its programme on Sunday with the traditional curtain raiser against the University of Exeter.

While the senior side are taking Somerset 2nd XI at Sidmouth, the Lions are playing the student side on the County Ground at Exeter (11am)

Luke Bess was due to skipper the side, but he has withdrawn and the captaincy has been passed to spin-bowling all-rounder Toby Codd.

Codd, a former Torquay Boys’ Grammar School student, deferred starting a history degree at UWE Bristol to broaden his cricket horizon with a winter in Australia.

Playing for Hallora CC near Melbourne, Codd had an impressive season with bat and ball in Grade Cricket.

Codd took 39 wickets at less than 20 runs each – and knocked up 247 runs. He played rep cricket for Warragul District and was named their player of the year.

Codd is one of six players in the team who have already played Minor Counties cricket, which is the objective behind running the Lions development programme.

Tim Western, who directs operations for the Lions, said the programme is having the desired effect.

“It shows the depth of playing resources within the county that we are able to put out two strong teams on the same day,” said Western.

“We have selected a strong team for this fixture and included a number of players who have already had a taste of Minor County cricket.

Last year’s game went down to the final ball and was won by the University by one wicket.

Western expects another tight encounter.

“We are looking forward to another competitive match, which gives our emerging talent the opportunity to perform and put forward their case for selection in the main side,” said Western.

“Pre-season preparations have been very good so far and I hope the Devon Lions team keep that momentum going against the University.”

Devon Lions (squad): R A Mawdsley (Heathcoat), H J Sargent (Exeter), D J Wolf (Paignton), J O Hagan-Burt (Plymouth), B Phillips (Budleigh). H J Kerton (Plymouth), B L Rudolph (Exmouth), J A F Onley-Gregson (Heathcoat), M J Petherbridge (Torquay), T R J Codd (Bovey Tracey), J H Gibbs (North Devon). 12th: J Khan.

University of Exeter: L W Matthews, B R Slade P Castleden. J P Fitzjohn, J R Marston. S Patel, H Kazmi, S Barras, M T G Mannering, S Harris, S Lawson.