NEW Devon Over-50s’ skipper Roger Wensley is looking to strengthen the club’s talent pool for a new challenge ahead in 2013, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

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Wensley was voted in as captain at the Devon Seniors annual meeting after long-serving Nigel Mountord decided to call it a day.

Keeper-batter Mountford featured once or twice for Devon O60s at the tail end of last season and is likely to step up an age-group this year.

Wensley’s first job is to find some new players to bolster the ranks now there is a 2nd XI competition as well.

Although Devon have run at friendly 2nd XI under Dave Amery for a number of seasons there has not been a league for them before.

Switching players between teams to make up the numbers, won’t be such and easy option in future, hence the recruiting drive.

“Devon is a big county and there are a lot of clubs and a lot of talented players out there,” said Wensley, whose club side is Exmouth.

“I have played most of my cricket with Exmouth at Premier level and know the players who should be knocking on the door.

“But there are players at other Devon League clubs in lower division who I am sure could do a good job for the O50s.

‘My message to them is get in touch and when we starts indoor nets in March or April, come along.”

Devon O50s is part of the Devon Seniors Club, which includes the O60s 1st and 2nd XIs.

Teams are entered in the Spitfire National Championships against other counties, with finals to be won in August and September.

There are international honours to be won as well in England age-group teams. In recent seasons Sandford pair Bob Eames and Stuart Lott, as well as Shobrooke Park’s Peter Rose, have all been picked to play for England O60s.

Eames and Lott went on an ‘Ashes’ tour to Australia last year.

Wensley, an early order batsman with a reputation for being difficult to dismiss, has been playing cricket for more than 40 years, almost exclusively with Exmouth.

Wensley’ late father Cecil had a long career with Exeter, Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton and Devon, and helped his son get started in cricket.

“My father was captain and Exmouth when I was around 10 years old I would go with him to games with my kit in a duffle bag,” said Wensley.

“Sometimes one of the players wouldn’t turn up and my father would say ‘get your kit on, you’re playing’ and out I would go.

“We used to get some big crowds for Sunday games in those days and for a young boy is was all very exciting.”

Cecil Wensley played 40 times for Devon between 1950-1960, as well as in numerous games for the Civil Service, whose fixture list included games against the RAF, the Army and the Royal Navy.

“My father captained Exeter, Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton, but as far as I know he never captained Devon,” said Wensley.

“I feel tremendously proud and very, very honoured, to have been invited to captain one of the county’s teams, especially given my father’s career.”

Wensley is keen to hear from anyone who thinks they would fit into the Seniors set up. He can be contacted at Exmouth 01395 279387, by mobile on 07889 815460 or through email to wensleyfamily@hotmail.co.uk.

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