Barrow feels career so far has been learning journey towards captaincy

Alex Barrow - in charge for the first time when Devon play Dorset

NEW Devon cricket skipper Alex Barrow gets his regime under way tomorrow (Sunday) with a Twenty20 double-date against Dorset at North Perrott.

Barrow, who was 27 earlier this month, started the season as vice-captain to Matthew Thompson, who was reappointed captain for a second spell during the winter following the retirement of Josh Bess.

Thompson’s unexpected resignation four games into the season meant changing skippers again and Devon were relieved when Barrow said he could step up into the top job. 

Barrow, a former Somerset staffman and England Under-19 batter in the same side as Joe Root and Lewis Gregory, works in education now and time off for cricket is not always available until the holiday season starts.

Barrow is no stranger to captaining sides and believes his previous experiences in school cricket, with Somerset and as Exeter’s 1st XI captain last season have been a good learning curve.

“I captained at King’s College, also with Somerset 2nd XI and last year with Exeter, which was my first experience of being fully in charge,” said Barrow, who was a regular wicketkeeper earlier in his career.

“I learned a lot that will help my captaincy as a wicketkeeper where you have a good view of everything that goes on, what the pitch is doing, what the ball is doing and you become very involved in the game.

“Last season at Exeter was the first time I had to have the difficult conversations that go with captaincy. It was enjoyable being captain, but testing at times too.

“There are parts of captaincy that are not that glorious.”

Barrow has a coaching role in is school job and intends bringing that part of his career into the Devon captaincy.

“It is not just going out there and doing it on the field, but helping the guys develop,” said Barrow.

Barrow takes over as Devon captain at a difficult time as far as the Twenty20 campaign is concerned.

Devon were beaten semi-finalists in the Unicorns T20 last season, but have their work cut out to qualify from the West pool this summer as they are bottom of the group.

“Mathematically it is not impossible to qualify, but I would say it is unlikely,” said Barrow.

Wales defeated Devon twice in the opening round of games. The two-game festival against Wiltshire at Sidmouth ended in a third defeat and a tied match that appeared to be ‘won’ until the final over and a half.

Devon were 144 for five with nine balls to go chasing 150 to win, but lost four wickets for as many runs and the game was tied.

“As I did not play against Wales there is nothing I can say about it,” said Barrow,

“In the first game against Wiltshire we did not bowl well but fought back when we batted, even though we lost.

“For 80 per cent of the second game we were brilliant, but showed a bit of naivety at the end of the chase.

“The senior batsmen should have taken charge to make sure we won. They did not.

“We were on the other side of something very similar against Suffolk at Sidmouth in last season’s semi-final. These things can happen in T20 cricket.”

Squad: A W R Barrow (Sidmouth), M W Thompson (St Fagans), Z G G Bess (Sidmouth), J E Burke (Plymouth), M C Golding (Old Wilsonians), J A Stephens (Taunton Deane), J O Hagan-Burt (Plymouth), D J Goodey (Bashley), G B Allen, M Pugh (both Torquay), J E Thompson (Congresbury), M J Petherbridge (Plymouth), E W O Middleton (Exeter).

Dorset: M J Porter, S Young, L A Webb, F S Organ, E J Ellis, A J Ackland, R Scott, M T C Waller, J K H Naik, J G Digby, J I McCoy, M Harry, B J Currie.

Umpires: R G B Allen, D Daniels.