IM this article to a friend!

January 17, 2004


From: South Devon Herald Express, UK - Jan 17, 2004


Two South Devon cricketers fly out to Australia tomorrow to play for England in the Deaf Ashes series against the old enemy.

Stephen George, who is 19 and plays for Paignton, and Bovey Tracey's 16-year-old Jon Cadoux-Hudson, are both in the 15-man squad. A third Devon-based player, Exmouth's Mark Woodman, is also on the trip.

The tour lasts a month and includes a three-Test series, five one-day internationals and friendlies against New South Wales, Brisbane and Victoria.

The squad arrives after a 21-hour flight on Monday and has the rest of the week to prepare for the tour opener against New South Wales on Saturday.

The opening three-day Test gets under way on Monday, January 26 at the Sydney University ground.

Seam bowler George was first approached about the tour more than a year ago, but Cadoux-Hudson was only called into the squad recently.

And it means a month off his studies for the Torquay Boys' Grammar School pupil, who is due to take his GCSE exams this summer.

"It's the chance of a lifetime for him and, as a conscientious student, we don't have any worries about him going," said a member of the teaching staff at the school.

George's proud parents, Nigel and Pat, are both taking a month off work to accompany their son on his trip of a lifetime.

Dad Nigel, a talented amateur footballer in his time with Brixham United and Stoke Gabriel, said there were a lot of people to thank for getting Stephen on the trip.

"Unlike the senior sides, the players have to pay their own way and it is costing about £650 - plus spending money - for Stephen," said Nigel.

"And there has been all the cost of going to training weekends at places like Newcastle and Loughborough College for several months, which is quite costly.

"Stephen has been helped by an award from the Mike Sangster Foundation and also some local sponsorship, which has come in very handy.

"And he wouldn't have been going at all if he hadn't been encouraged from a young age by people at Paignton, especially Richard Hussey, who saw his potential from the start and gave him a chance.

"For some reason Devon were never interested in him for youth cricket, although he did play for the Development XI last season.

"It is great for Stephen that he has overcome that and we are hoping he can go on and become a regular member of the full Devon side in time."

George, who took 37 league and cup wickets for Paignton in the Devon Premier Division last season, has also been getting help in advance of the tour from former England fast bowler Bob Cottam.

Cottam toured Australia as England's bowling coach during a real Ashes series.

George helps him with Saturday morning youth coaching at Churston Ferrers Grammar School on Saturday mornings and has been getting extra tuition of his own as part of his pay.

Cottam says it is the opportunity of a lifetime for the former Westlands schoolboy.

"He has come on a lot with strength, accuracy and pace, but there is a lot he can learn from this tour," said Cottam.

"I hope it will make him more consistent as a bowler, and also encourage him to take responsibility.

"If he bowls a maiden, he needs to bowl another; not try three different balls in the next over.

"If he concentrates on doing the business, he will have a good tour."

Paignton's new Aussie captain Neil Hancock, who played much of his early cricket in Brisbane, said the experience will only be good for George.

"He'll learn a lot out there and will be a better cricketer for going," said Hancock, who has recently taken over the Queens Park captaincy from Justin Mann.

"Stephen will find the bounce on Australian wickets is more consistent than it is over here and will have to work a lot harder for his wickets."

Bovey Tracey chairman Nigel Mountford said everyone at the club was "chuffed to bits" that Cadoux-Hudson had been picked for the tour.

"He's our first-ever international - and we are delighted for him," said Mountford.

© Northcliffe Electronic Publishing Ltd.