He's in charge! North Devon's Jack Moore, who will lead the Devon Cricket Academy XI against the University of Exeter today<br>credit: Fiona Tyson

AFTER a 12-month wait due to Covid-19 restrictions on playing and training, the Devon Cricket Academy are about to start their programme of development games. 

University of Exeter provide the opposition today on the University Sports Ground at Topsham, followed by a trip to North Perrott CC to play Dorset on Sunday. 

Due to Covid restrictions the Academy side will be facing local opposition during the season, playing a mixture of 50-over and Twenty20 matches. The aim is to provide the best emerging players in the county with an opportunity to hone and display their abilities. 

Sandy Allen, the coach responsible for leading the Academy side, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for these players to get back out and play some cricket after a very strange and challenging 12 months.

“We have an exciting group of 20-30 players we are planning to involve this summer and my role is to help develop and improve each player whilst getting the best out of them on the pitch.

Toby Codd“We have high expectations for this group of players and I am sure they will be excited by the challenges ahead.”

Allen will be assisted on the match days with former Devon batsman Matt Hunt, and Steve Williams, who are level three and level four coaches respectively. 

Said Allen: “It is fantastic having the calibre of these two available, it’s great for the players being able to tap into their expertise along with the continuity of having worked with the players in previous years and during lockdown.”

North Devon’s young all-rounder Jack Moore has been handed the captaincy for the first fixture. Toby Codd, a seasoned performer in the full Devon side and a former captain of Bovey Tracey CC, will lead the side against Dorset.

Today v University of Exeter: Jack Moore (North Devon), Adam Small (Sandford), Ciaran Gray (Cornwood), Elliott Hamilton (Plympton), Sam Read (Exeter), Lawrence Walker (Sandford), Luke Medlock, Archie Farkins (both Paignton), Harry Passenger (Torquay),  Ben Privett (Plympton), James Onley-Gregson, Joe Du’Gay (both Heathcoat).

Sunday v Dorset: Toby Codd (Bishopston), Adam Small (Sandford), James Degg (Plymouth), James Onley-Gregson (Heathcoat), Sam Read (Exeter), Elliott Hamilton (Plympton), Dan Pyle (Exmouth), Josh King (Sandford), Dan Goodey (Plymouth), Jack Moore (North Devon), Matt Skeemer (Cornwood), Ben Privett (Plympton).