Sidmouth have three in Devon team for Sunday’s game at Bovey Tracey

PUBLISHED: 12:32 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:44 26 April 2018

Cricket

Cricket

Archant

Devon County Cricket Club has started a membership drive in advance of the new season, which starts this Sunday with a warm-up game against Gloucestershire 2nd XI, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Join the club now and enjoy a day out watching Somerset at Taunton as part of the membership package.

All paid-up Devon members have been invited to a Devon Day at Taunton on May 11, the first day of the Specsavers County Championship game against Hampshire.

Admission to the ground will be free to any Devon member who produces his or her 2018 membership card.

Devon members will have their own place on the ground in the Somerset Pavilion Lower behind the bowler’s arm. As Devon membership is £25 a year, and a day’s cricket at Somerset costs £18, it’s an offer worth taking up.

And, as part of Devon’s 2018 recruiting campaign, there are other benefits too.

“In addition to supporting the county team in games, and enjoying cricket at a senior level, we are inviting a member to be our VIP guest once a month during the season,” said Neil Gamble, the Devon CCC chairman.

“Members’ names will be placed in a free draw every month of the season and the winner would receive hospitality for two – coffee, lunch and tea - at a county game.”

A thriving membership is crucial to Devon’s success as the pinnacle of cricket in the county.

Although Devon receive some central funding from the ECB, it is not enough to cover a full summer schedule

This year Devon teams will be taking part in 33 days of cricket across the summer – more if the team progresses in the T20 or 50-over competitions.

That itinerary includes running the Devon Lions development programme, a mix of one- and two-day games and coaching all year round, which Devon get no cash help for from ECB.

Having a strong membership base supporting the county club with fundraising will help meet the rising costs of staging Minor Counties cricket.

Said Gamble: “ECB has never covered the full cost of running Minor Counties’ cricket, and Devon CCC’s expenditure has increased on an annual basis over the last several years.

“Our main sources of income, independently of the ECB, are membership subscriptions and sponsorship.”

To become a county member, visit the county club page on the Devon Cricket Board website, www.devoncricket.co.uk

Sidmouth are well represented in the Devon side facing Gloucestershire at Bovey Tracey this Sunday in a T20 double-header (11.30am).

Josh Bess continues as captain and in the squad of 15 are his all-rounder brother Zac and hard-hitting batsman Liam Lewis.

Devon: J J Bess (Sidmouth), R J Woodman (Taunton Deane), A W R Barrow, B G F Green (both Exeter), L J Lewis (Sidmouth), J E Burke (Plymouth), T A Lammonby (Exeter), G R Chappell (Bradninch), Z G G Bess (Sidmouth), J O Hagan-Burt (Plymouth), J A Stephens (Falmouth), J R Popham (North Devon), T R J Codd, H M Whitlock (both Bovey Tracey), G Benton (Paignton).

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