Devon pencil-in warm-up game against Dorset in preparation for T20 tourney in August
By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
DEVON will play a warm-up game against Dorset on July 26 in anticipation of a mini-tournament in August.
The 50-over game at North Perrott is likely to be Devon's only outing before any tournament starts.
Details have yet to be confirmed by the National Counties Cricket Association, but the likelihood is the early season Twenty20 competition will be resurrected.The three-day competition was abandoned some time ago, but an option left to play either the 20- or 50-over tournaments if time allowed and Covid-19 restrctions eased.
Devon were grouped with Herefordshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Cornwall in the Twenty20 tournament and that draw is likely to be retained.
Counties play each other twice in the same day at the same venue on four Sundays. As August has five Sundays this year, the group stages can be played in a month.
Devon are likely to use Sidmouth and Sandford as their home venues if the competition goes ahead. The top team in each pool will go through to the last four on finals day.
No venue for finals day has been announced yet, although the NCCA had already booked the Getty Ground at Wormsley in Buckinghamshire for the 50-over knockout cup final on September 2. Following the cancellation of the 50-over tournament the September date may be available.
Dave Tall, Devon’s director of cricket, has just started the process of putting a squad together for the Dorset game.
“Unsurprisingly, everyone is keen to play,” said Tall.
‘No one I have contacted has said they are not available and there are no injuries either.”
Tall reports no significant retirements since the end of the 2019 season and no new faces either. Peter Trego, who was Devon's match pro last season when Somerset did not use him, has joined Nottinghamshire. And Wayne White, another match pro, is no longer eligible under new NCCA regulations.
Tall is keen to have another look at dual-registered Somerset youngster Ned Leonard, who only featured in one warm-up game last season.
“Ned was only 16 when he played in one game for us at Instow and it would be interesting to see how much he has come on since then,” said Tall.