Jamie Baird, who has a foot in both camps<br>credit: www.ppauk.com

JAMIE Baird finds himself playing against Devon not for them in a two-day game for the Somerset Academy.

Keeper-batter Baird, 16, dual-registered by Devon earlier this month, has been in their Unicorns Championship side for the last two games.

The Millfield scholar caught the eye in the win over Oxfordshire last week by scoring a half-century in the fourth-innings run chase.

Ned Leonard, also registered with Devon but not used in a competitive game this season, is also in the Somerset side.

Leonard and Baird are both in the Somerset team facing the Devon Lions Development XI at Bovey Tracey today (Monday) and tomorrow (11am).

There are no full-timers in the Somerset team, although more than half of the XI have played second-team cricket in one of the three formats this summer, or have featured in ECB Elite youth programmes in the past two summers.

Tim Western, the Lions’ director of coaching, said the opposition and the format will be a challenge to players used to playing 50-over win-lose cricket.

“It is a really good opportunity for our emerging players to experience the longer form of the game in this two-day format,” said Western. 

“They will be up against what will be a strong Somerset team, whose members are pushing for professional contracts.”

One to watch is batter George Thomas, who earlier this month played for the South & West XI at the Bunbury Festival, which is a shop window and proving ground for future professionals. Match umpire Rhys Callicott from Devon was one of the same festival's officials.

Devon: K J Burns (Bradninch), C E N Barriball, W T Barriball (both Tavistock), M P Skeemer (Cornwood), J S Moore (North Devon), M J Petherbridge (Plymouth), J Doble (Budleigh), T W Simmons (Sidmouth), S O Read (Clyst SG), C F Harford (Paignton), B A Beaumont (Cornwood), H C B Ward (Paignton).

Somerset Academy XI: C J Reed, O Meadows, J W Baird, E O Leonard, G Thomas, T Hall, J Thomas, M Horton, M A Toohey, J C Harding, A Ogborne.

Umpires: R Callicott, R W Tolchard.