Max Curtis - first Devon game for two summers

MAX Curtis has been named in a Devon squad for the first time in nearly two years for Sunday’s T20 double date against Cornwall at Instow.

Batsman Curtis, who was 25 earlier this year, started playing for Devon at under-12 level and went all the way through the youth system. He graduated to the senior side in 2014 and played 23 times in all three forms of the game up to 2017.

North Devon CC clubmates Craig and Jamie Overton were teammates on the way through the youth system

University studies – he graduated as a physiotherapist last year – took Curtis to Bristol and he joined WEPL club Clevedon. Having found a job in Southampton, he is now playing for Winchester-based St Cross Symondians.

Devon team boss Dave Tall has availability issues queuing up for the looming three-day, Unicorns Championship programme, which starts away to Wales at Pontarddulais on June 23.

Nick Gaywood - long-distance commuterWith nothing to play for in the T20 cup – Devon can’t qualify from the group – Tall is looking ahead to the three-day competition.

“A number of players are unavailable for the games against Cornwall so there were places to be filled,” said Tall.

“Max can play in the first three-day game and this is a good way of easing him back in as it is a couple of years since he moved away and the team has changed.

“There will be people who say he has moved away so why are we picking him?

“My answer to that is he is a Devonian through and through and there have been many players over the years who have travelled back to play.”

Doug Yeabsley travelled back to Devon for nearly 30 years from his job in Hertfordshire to play for his home county and Nick Gaywood did the same thing for a decade in the 80s-90s.

Another player back after a lengthy lay-off is Bovey Tracey’s lively quick bowler Hugo Whitlock, who suffered an injury midway through the 2017 season and has not played county cricket since.

“Again, with an eye on the three-day games, Hugo is coming in to show what he can do,” said Tall.

“I have watched him bowl and he seems to be close to where he wants to be. Talking to batsmen who have faced him, they say the same thing.”

Tall had hoped to include dual-registered Gloucestershire seamer Jack Gibbs on his home ground at Instow, but he has withdrawn.

Somerset pair Ben Green and Tom Lammonby have been pencilled into the squad and will play as long as neither is recalled to Taunton. 

Devon (from): A W R Barrow (Sidmouth), M W Thompson (St Fagins), Z G G Bess (Sidmouth), B G F Green, T A Lammonby (Exeter), J E Burke (Plymouth), J H G Degg (Torquay), M H Curtis (St Cross Symondians), J A Stephens (Taunton Deane), D J Goodey (Bashley), H M Whitlock, T J R Codd (both Bovey Tracey), E W O Middleton (Exeter).

Cornwall: M H Rowe (Henley), T R Wyatt  (Truro), G M Smith, T J Wells, T G Sturgess, S A Harvey, J P Ludlam (all Penzance), M H Gribble, M L Robins, T J Dinnis (all Werrington), L P Goldsworthy, A P Pascoe (both St Just).

David Post (left) chatting to Doug Yeabsley (right) in front of the old pavilion on the County Ground