DEVON’S CCC’s director of cricket Roger Newman has resigned after three years in the job to pursue other interests in the game, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

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DEVON’S CCC’s director of cricket Roger Newman has resigned after three years in the job to pursue other interests in the game, writes Conrad Sutcliffe. Newman, 68, played for Devon Colts and England Schools as a teenager, scoring his maiden century for Exmouth as a 16 year old in 1961.

He played for Devon between 1965-68 before moving to the Midlands to work, where he was courted by Worcestershire before deciding to concentrate on a teaching career rather than risking the vagaries of life as a professional sportsman.

Newman left teaching to go into business and when he retired from commerce went into professional coaching, firstly with Oxford University and later as the first director of the Warwickshire Academy.

When Newman left Warwickshire in 2004 he went back to where it all started with Devon and has held a number of posts – commercial and coaching – over the past eight years.

Devon have always known Newman has other cricket interests and while disappointed to see him go the management won’t be too surprised.

He runs his own cricket consultancy – Focus Cricket – and is also the South West chairman of the Cricket Foundation, the organisation that raises money to fund the Chance to Shine schools coaching initiative.

Newman said he will continue as an ambassador for the David Shepherd Cricket Foundation, the county-club supported youth charity which aims to develop young players. But his day-to-day involvement is over, not that he will be distancing himself completely from the county club.

He said: “I have been associated with Devon County Cricket Club for almost 50 years and will remain a keen supporter of the club as well as an ambassador for the David Shepherd Cricket Foundation. I have given the last three years as a volunteer for Devon and like think I am leaving with the club in a better place than it was. We have brought more younger players into the picture thanks to our coaching initiatives, such as the Devon Lions and the academy run by Tim Western and the Shep Foundation. It is worth noting that everything in Devon is done by volunteers and no one is paid a penny – players or coaches. We won the Minor Counties title in 2011 with a strictly amateur side and I doubt very much any other county has done that for a while, or is likely too. Some counties spend vast sums of money on players and it is so nice to beat them with a team who get nothing more than travelling expenses, their hotel room paid for and a £15 meal allowance.”

Newman is closely associated with Devon’s development schemes over the past few seasons, so why has he decided to walk away? “Through Focus Cricket, my consultancy business, I get offered the chance to work on other projects, all of which I have turned down over the past three years,” said Newman.

He continued: “There are things I would like to get involved in, but because of my commitment to Devon I have had to turn them down. Neil Gamble, the county club’s chief executive, said Newman would be missed.”

“He has worked tirelessly to maintain the vision of the club and to sustain its playing success over the last three years,” said Gamble. “His organisation of the first team, his creation of the Devon Lions and his special promotion of the David Shepherd Cricket Foundation have been substantial achievements. Roger will be a great loss to the county and his drive, enthusiasm and extensive cricketing experience will be very hard to replace.”

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