More skippers chip in with thoughts on long-awaited return of league cricket in Devon

Ottery St Mary

By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE

MORE captains have been commenting on the expected return of league cricket in Devon from July 25 in line with Friday’s announcement from the ECB.

Friendly cricket can start this Saturday and clubs are already fixing up games against local rivals as part of the warm-up process.

The ECB is due to make more details public of what is and is not allowed after a meeting on Thursday, after which the Devon League will formulate a scheme to get competitive cricket going on July 25.

Here is what captains have been saying about the long-awaited start to the season:

Tom Popham“It will be great to be able to have some cricket back and to help clubs get back on track and to get members/players playing again. I hope some form of local competitions can be arranged, but everyone at present is still in the dark as to what is capable and doable.”

Tom Popham (North Devon CC 1stXI captain)

“I am hopeful that the format is T20 to make the game fast paced and enjoyable  I am looking forward to winning the toss and batting. It is going to be great.”

Peter Randerson (Heathcoat 1stXI captain)

“Delighted that cricket can resume, especially as other sports have had the green light. Intrigued to see what the league propose exactly, given the proposed Matt Heatherschedule will run into September which means availability could be interesting. Really happy that the younger players will get an opportunity to play and it won't be a totally lost season. The older players might be less enthusiastic about eight-a-side, but given the current climate playing some form of cricket would be good news.”

Alex Clements (Ottery St Mary 1stXI captain)

“Really happy to get the green light. I am interested to see what the official guidance is, but we're happy to play any format. I think T20s would be the most sensible option though.”

Matt Heather (Chudleigh CC 1stXI captain)

“Its absolutely fantastic news to hear of a return to cricket. Saturdays just haven't been the same this year without any.  I didn't think we would get the go ahead until august and gone, but we've all had our fingers crossed that we would get some sort of cricket in this year. We will probably have some inter club games from this Saturday in preparation for a July 25 start. We're all really excited for some cricket this year, whatever the format may be. The lads have been training hard in the past few weeks in preparation for the go ahead and we'll be ready to hit the ground running as soon as we get the green light.‚Äč"

Jason Parr (Cullompton CC 1stXI captain)

“I think for it to be meaningful and worthwhile for all players involved it has to be at least 40 overs, so 45 overs out of the two options even though 20 would certainly suit my current personal circumstances (putting the team first). To be meaningful I think the playing standard needs to be similar as long as the clubs are nearby. I can see issues getting teams together if clubs had considerable travel for a game with nothing on it.” 

Gareth Stoneman (Whimple 1stXI captain)