Devon hailed a ‘special player’

New Recruit: South African Devon Conway is the new overseas player for Matlock Town Cricket Club this season.
New Recruit: South African Devon Conway is the new overseas player for Matlock Town Cricket Club this season.

MATLOCK Cricket Club’s 2012 overseas player believes his side could have what it takes to get back into the Derbyshire Premier League.

And Devon Conway is hoping to play a major part in that promotion push.

The 20-year-old South African batsman has been described by club chairman Derrick Taylor as ‘a special player’ and, in his three visits to the crease so far, he has proved that, notching up two tons and a half-century.

The first of those centuries came on his debut, just seven hours after landing at Heathrow.

The team is currently handily placed in third in the Derbyshire County League’s Division One, and the overseas ace says he has enjoyed his time with the club so far.

“It’s been a really nice experience. It was quite a shock at first, particularly with the temperature! When I left South Africa, it was 28 degrees and then I got here it was about six degrees.

“I had to adapt quickly but that’s what I think I’m good at doing and it’s all been good experience for me.

“I played over here two years ago when I was in Taunton and got some games with Somerset 2nds so I knew a bit about the type of pitches but it’s certainly different to at home.

“Obviously they are lot lower and slower than in South Africa, where the bounce is often chest high and the ball really comes onto the bat but here it’s about letting the ball come to you. I’m an adaptable player. If I have to, I can try and score at a run a ball but if I need to block it out, I can do that too.”

Devon plays his cricket one level below test cricket in his homeland.

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, went on: “I like to consider myself a bit of an all-rounder although I had been keeping wicket recently but I knew Matlock wanted me to bowl so I had to work on it because I hadn’t done much for five or six months.

“They are really top guys here and they really welcomed me right from the first.

“They are nice bunch and if we can keep taking wickets, we have a really good chance of getting promotion because I think we have got a really strong batting side to take care of the runs.

“We have had a good run recently so if we can keep it going, who knows what we can do?”

Club captain Steve Pell has been delighted by what he’s seen from Devon so far.

“As a 20-year-old, he’s one of the most gifted batsmen I’ve ever seen of his age. He has a good head on young shoulders.

“He looks good, is very composed at the wicket and is confident. We are sure we’ve really got a good player here. He’s a real strokemaker.

“He goes in at number three, plays proper shots but, as he proved in his second match, he can get on with it when he wants to.

“He’s also shown he’s a useful off-spinner so that’s something we can make use of too. All in all, it promises well for the season ahead.”