By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
NEW England Under-19 captain Tom Lammonby wants to carry on playing for Devon just as long as he can.
Lammonby now has a permanent place in Devon CCC history after cracking hundreds in both innings of the drawn game against Wales at Sandford.
The Exeter all-rounder hit 102 in the first innings and was unbeaten on exactly 100 second time round.
It is that sort of talent that Somerset spotted in Lammonby as a 15 year old, which led to an Academy place at Taunton and ultimately into the England U19 side.
Back to back hundreds for Devon are pretty rare. In 117 years of Minor Counties cricket it has only been done three times before. Matt Thompson (2013), Neil Hancock (2006) and Bob Dawson (2004) are the predecessors. Lammonby is the youngest of them by more than three years.
Lammonby, who has just completed his A-level exams at Exeter School, won’t be in Devon’s side facing Suffolk in the Unicorns Cup semi-final at Sidmouth this Sunday as he will be with England preparing for the Test series against South Africa.
Once his international commitments are over, and subject to Somerset’s blessing, Lammonby would like to play as much three-day cricket as possible for Devon.
That may sound an unusual statement for the captain of the England U19 side, who is widely tipped to go a long way in the game. Lammonby has his reasons and pretty solid ones they are too.
“I scored my first hundred playing for Devon U10s against Essex at the ESCA Festival in Taunton and playing for Devon through the age groups always meant a lot to me,” said Lammonby, who was 18 earlier this month.
“Growing up in Devon as a cricketer you want to play for your county and it is something I am still keen to do whenever I can.
“For the past year it feels like I have played a huge amount of white-ball cricket and very little with the red ball.
“Red ball cricket, for me, is the most challenging and exciting form of the game and playing for Devon in competitive surroundings has to be good for my development as a player.
“I am keen to play as much as I can for as long as I can, providing Devon want me and Somerset are happy.”
Lammonby said he had no idea he was going to be named England U19 captain until shortly before the squad for the South Africa series was made public.
“Having missed the World Cup out in New Zealand earlier this year due to injury, I was nervous about being even being picked,” said Lammonby.
“Because of my A-level exams I have not played much 2nd XI cricket for Somerset so never expected to be asked to do the captaincy.”
Devon’s game against Wales ended in a nail-biting draw with the Welsh nine wickets down with three balls to keep out to earn a draw, which they did.
The highlight was Lammonby scoring his back-to-back tons, although a place in the record books never crossed his mind at the time.
“I hadn’t even thought about scoring a second hundred, just scoring as many runs as I could in the time frame given by the skipper,” said Lammonby.
“I knew did not have long as the captain wanted to get back out in the field and start bowling at them again.
“It was only when I hit a four that took me to 86 that I thought it might be on, but it wasn’t about me but the team.
“I had no idea about any records and to be honest the significance hasn’t really sunk in.
“Playing for Devon means a lot to me and in years to come I know it is a day I will never forget.”