Sidmouth duo to lead Devon in new on-field leadership team
PUBLISHED: 14:33 14 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:33 14 May 2019
Devon’s team management have turned to Sidmouth duo Alex Barrow and Zak Bess as the county’s new on-field leadership team, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Barrow, who had seven years on the staff at Somerset, has taken over as county captain from Matt Thompson, who stood down last week.
The 27-year old keeper-batsman played 67 first-team matches for Somerset between 2012-2016. He joined Sidmouth from Exeter at the start of the current league season.
Bess has taken on the vice-captaincy role previously filled by Barrow.
Barrow was the obvious choice to succeed Thompson. But he had availability issues too due to his work on the sports staff at King's, Taunton.
Dave Tall, Devon's director of cricket, said after talks with Barrow over the weekend the county had no qualms about the appointment.
"We can't be 100 per cent sure Alex can play in every game, but there are enough experienced players in the team to cope with that should it become an issue," said Tall.
"Sadly the age we live in now is not one where players are always going to be available for every game - even if they are the county captain.
"In the time Alex has played regularly for us we have seen what he can do and know the expertise from his Somerset days he brings to the team.
"His first game in charge will be the double header against Dorset at North Perrott, when we hope Peter Trego will play his first game for us."
Trego, currently on a one-day deal with Somerset, is contracted to play for Devon this season when not required by the Cidermen.
Thompson, stood down last week just four competitive games into his second stint as captain. His first spell was between 2015-2016 when he took over from Josh Bess (2012-2014) and was then replaced by Bess (2017-2018) when he returned from living in Australia.
Thompson had a heart to heart with the Devon management after a disappointing start to the Unicorns T20 Cup campaign, which resulted in three defeats and a tie from the four matches played.
Although there was no pressure on Thompson from the management, he felt it was in everyone's interests including his own to bring someone else in.
"The last time I was captain my own form suffered and that is not good for the team," said Thompson.
"The way I looked at it was if I stayed on as captain and was not enjoying it I probably would not want to play at all after a while.
"Nothing in cricket means more to me than playing cricket for Devon and I want to carry on until loss of form or infirmity and injury mean I don't get selected."
Tall said Thompson remains available for selection as a player, which is good news for Devon.
"Matt is a top player in Minor Counties cricket and I am sure he will be scoring runs for Devon for a number of years to come."