Allen and Codd reflect on experience bowling to World Cup stars

Toby Codd - one of the Devon League bowlers being used as a net bowler by teams practicing for World Cup matches

DEVON League cricketers have been bowling to the stars of the 2019 World Cup as part of their big match preparations.

Taunton is one of the group venues for World Cup fixtures and staged the match between Afghanistan and New Zealand yesterday.

Coming up is the big one between Pakistan and Australia on Wednesday (June 12) and West Indies versus Bangladesh on Monday, June 17.

Teams get practice sessions on the ground before their matches and need net bowlers to keep the balls coming down

Devon League players invited to bowl at the best of the best include:

Tom Simmons (Sidmouth), Dan Goodey (Devon CCC/Bashley), Ben Privett (Plympton), James Onley-Gregson (Heathcoat), Josh King (North Devon), George Greenway (Exmouth), George Benton (Paignton), Hal Kerton (Plymstock), Zak Bess (Sidmouth), Sonny Baker (Torquay), James Allen (South Devon), Toby Codd (Bovey Tracey), Arun Karthick (Ashburton).

Codd and Allen were booked as net bowlers for Afghanistan and New Zealand on Friday, but only got to bowl to one of the teams.

“Because of the bad weather we moved to the cricket school and the New Zealanders decided they were not going to practice indoors,” said Allen.

“Instead, we had two lanes running and all bowled to the Afghanistan players, who do like to give it some welly.

“I got to bowl in the same net as Rashid Khan, who plays Big Bash and IPL cricket, and by the end of the session was trying a few new things myself.”

Codd, who also bowled in a net with Khan, said it was an experience he would not forget in a hurry.

“I don’t think I beat the bat once and did not hit the stumps,” said Codd. “But in real circumstances I think I would have had one or two caught in the ring.”

Sandy Allen, the player pathway manager at the Devon Cricket Board, said: “To be bowling at international batsmen, it can only aid the development of our players.

“I am sure all will come back with some great experience and stories to tell.”