8:00am Friday 6th June 2014
By Ed Mezzetti
Jordan Garrett is in line to become Oxfordshire’s youngest player when they host Wiltshire in their Unicorns Championship Western Division opener.
The 14-year-old Great & Little Tew batsman has been named in a 13-man squad for the match at Banbury, starting on Sunday (11).
Garrett will play in a much-changed line-up, provided he is not required for Gloucestershire 2nd, who face Middlesex on Tuesday.
The batsman would beat the record set by Banbury’s Lloyd Sabin, who made his debut at 16 in 2010.
“Jordan has put in some good performances for Gloucestershire 2nd,” said Oxon captain Luke Ryan.
“I played against him in pre-season and he got 70. He was absolutely unflappable.
“He doesn’t look anything like a 14-year-old. He carries himself like a much older player.
“It would be fantastic if he could make his debut.”
If named in the final XI, Oxford’s Jasper Davies, Tew’s Harry Smith and Leamington pair Shabaz Alam and Faisal Khalid would all make their championship debuts.
Davies and Alam have played in the Unicorns Trophy, but fellow batsman Smith and seamer Khalid have yet to feature at first-team level.
Ryan said: “Faisal has played for Oxford UCCE and Banbury Twenty.
“He is an opening bowler who knows his game well. He won’t let us down.
“Harry has come up through the Oxfordshire system. He was always someone that we have looked at.”
Ryan is, however, frustrated not to be able to select more of the side who have shone in the Unicorns Trophy.
“It’s disappointing that we can’t field more of the squad we chose to focus on for this year.
“It’s more and more difficult for people to get time off for a three-day match.
“Hopefully, the guys coming in take their chance.
“We were in a similar situation in our opener against Cheshire last year.
“We competed for the first five sessions and were in a really good winning position before having a poor session.
“Hopefully, we can go one further this year.”
Like Oxon, Wiltshire topped their Unicorns Trophy group with four wins from four matches.
They include Henley seamer Tahir Afridi.
Oxfordshire: from Ryan (Banbury, capt), Alam (Leamington), Blanchard (Banbury), Beard (Frocester), Cater (Banbury), Davies (Oxford), Jor Garrett (Great & Little Tew), Khalid (Leamington), Manley, J Phillips (both Banbury), Slatter, Smith (both Great & Little Tew), Vainker (Oxford).
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