CRICKET: Oxfordshire to host local rivals

Oxford Mail: Luke Ryan will lead Oxfordshire in the championship next season Luke Ryan will lead Oxfordshire in the championship next season

Oxfordshire will have home games against local rivals Wiltshire and Berkshire in next season’s newly-titled Unicorns Counties Championship.

Luke Ryan’s side open their Western Division campaign against Wilts at Banbury on June 8-10, before facing Devon at the same venue on June 22-24.

Oxon’s third home game is against Berkshire at Great & Little Tew from August 3-5.

Their away games next season are in Devon, Shropshire and Dorset.

The name of the competition has been changed from the Minor Counties Championship as officials attempt to attract more interest and sponsorship.

The name is taken from the team which featured in first-class competitions in recent years, and comprised players who were not on professional contracts, with the Unicorn being the emblem of the Minor Counties.

Similarly, the Minor Counties Cricket Association Trophy becomes the Unicorns Counties Trophy.

Oxon face Berkshire, in their group opener at Bicester & North Oxford on April 27.

Their other home game is against Bucks at Challow & Childrey on May 11, with away fixtures in Staffordshire and Herefordshire.

OXFORDSHIRE 2014 FIXTURES

UNICORNS COUNTIES TROPHY

April 27: v Berkshire (Bicester & North Oxford). May 4: v Staffordshire (A, TBC). May 11: v Bucks (Challow & Childrey). May 18: v Herefordshire (Eastnor).

UNICORNS COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP

June 8-10: v Wiltshire (Banbury). June 22-24: v Devon (Banbury). July 6-8: v Shropshire (A, TBC). July 20-22: v Dorset (Bournemouth). Aug 3-5: v Berkshire (Great & Little Tew). Aug 18-20: v Cheshire (Nantwich).

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