Thompson stands down as Devon captain to concentrate on playing

Matt Thompson, who has given up the Devon captaincy

DEVON are looking for a new captain following the unexpected resignation of skipper Matt Thompson.

Thompson was only re-appointed to the post at the end of last season after Josh Bess handed in his notice.

Thompson had previously skippered the side in 2015 and 2016 when he took over from Bess, who had given up the job to live and work in Australia for a year and half.

Devon played back-to-back T20 double-headers against Wales and Wiltshire over the long Bank Holiday weekend, losing three of the four games and tying the final one.

First favourite - Alex BarrowDevon need to win all four of their remaining games against Dorset then Cornwall, and have some good fortune with results elsewhere if they are going to qualify from their pool. The odds look slender.

Thompson said there were two reasons for his decision to stand down.

“I think it will be good me and the team if there is a new captain,” said Thompson.

“The last time I was captain my own form suffered and that is not good for the team.

“I wasn’t the same player batting or keeping wicket when I was captain in 2015-2016 and don’t want the same thing to happen again. I just want to enjoy playing for Devon to the best of my ability.

“Nothing in cricket means more to me than playing cricket for Devon and I want to carry on until loss of form or infirmity and injury mean I don’t get selected.

“The way I looked at it was if I stayed on as captain and was not enjoying it I probably would not want to play at all after a while.”

Neil Gamble, the Devon chief executive, said Thompson’s decision had come out of the blue and left the management with some work to do to find a replacement.

When Thompson was appointed last year it was known then he could not play in all Devon’s 20-over, 50-over and three-day games. Alex Barrow, the former Somerset batsman, was appointed vice-captain to cover the games Thompson could not play in.

Barrow also has availability issues and sorting them out is a barrier to a swift transition between captains.

Other candidates for the county captaincy or vice-captaincy are Sidmouth’s Zak Bess and Jamie Stephens, although his commitments at a boarding school hinder his availability in the first half of the season.