Roger Moylan Jones (right) with the late Geoff Evans (left) and Devon County Council chairman John Rawlinson at a County Hall reception for the 2008 MCCA Cup winners

Outgoing Devon CCC president Roger Moylan Jones intended to deliver this short speech at the county club's annual meeting on March 26. Due to the cornonavirus crisis the meeting has been postponed. Roger asked if he could share his speech with devoncricket readers and we are happy to oblige.

AS heralded this time last year, the brave new world of the National Counties Cricket Association is now with us bringing to a close, as it does, the distinguished history of the Minor Counties Cricket Association under which county cricket outside the professional game has flourished for 125 years. 

The last 20 years or so, however, have not all been plain sailing. With the inception of the ECB as the national governing body of the game in 1997, it soon became evident that the very existence of county cricket at our level was under threat and it has been quite a long-running tussle to secure our future. 

The good news is that our county cricket is now established as an integral part of the structure of the game and the player pathway under the auspices of NCCA Ltd, within the domain of ECB, and with a degree of improved funding.  However, with it comes a deal of regulation and governance that sets new challenges for our volunteer administrators.  In effect, the battle has been won, but it comes at a price.  I would ask all members to recognise the untiring efforts of our chairman, Neil Gamble, the CEO, Nigel Mountford, and our supporting committee as the demands of the new organisation settle in.

Geoff Evans, who worked closely with Roger Moylan-Jones as county secretary and later chairmanOn a personal note, this seems to be an appropriate time for me to draw stumps after 13 years as chairman and ten as your president. I have thoroughly enjoyed my involvement over such a formative period in the development of our game. Together with Geoff Evans we formed the Devon Cricket Board, as required by the newly formed ECB, including the selection and introduction of its first cricket development officer.

Unexpectedly for me, it led to a fascinating period as a director of the ECB, subsequently a trustee of the England and Wales Cricket Trust and, more recently, a most enjoyable three years as president of the MCCA.  It has certainly kept me off the streets in retirement! 

Jack Davey will assume the role of your president. Jack, well known to you all, has been closely involved with Devon cricket both before and after his distinguished career in the professional game with Gloucestershire CCC. is a life member of our club, and has been a major influence in the setting up and running of the David Shepherd Cricket Trust.

I was delighted that when I approached him he accepted my invitation to take over - an appointment which received ready confirmation at the recent meeting of your committee.

Derek Cole leads Devon out against Dorset at Paignton in August 1963. Left to right are a youthful Roger Moylan-Jones, Gerald Trump, Doug Yeabslley, Cole, David Shepherd, Chris U'ren, Peter Atkinson and the Tolchards, Jeff and Roger