CRICKET: Depleted Oxford forced to ring the changes

8:00am Friday 13th June 2014

By Russell Smith

Oxford have been decimated by unavailability for their Division 1 clash against joint leaders Burnham at Roman Way tomorrow.

Skipper Ian Crosby is missing six players, with paceman Stuart Hole on his stag weekend in Barcelona where he will be accompanied by county batsman Jamie Perkin.

Francois Vainker is at his grandad’s 90th birthday celebration in France, while Andrew Clough is working, Abidine Sakande has exams and Dan Bowyer is at a wedding.

Batsman Alex Morgan and opening bowler Freddie Simon come in for their debuts, with Vishane Perera and John Barrett returning.

Reflecting on his selection problems ahead of tomorrow when matches revert to the longer format with the draw coming into play, Crosby said: “Obviously it’s been a hard week.

“The lads that are coming in will get an opportunity and hopefully will prove a point and stay in for the future. They are all good players.”

Gloucestershire off-spinner Miles Hammond returns to Aston Row-ant’s line-up for the trip to joint leaders Banbury.

He comes into the side for the unavailable Nick Ferraby, while Josh Smith replaces Gordon Harris, who suffered a side strain in last week’s seven-wicket home win over Oxford.

Batsman Dan Harris is unavailable for Banbury, with Ed Phillips taking his place.

His brother, captain Jimmy Phillips, believes his side should continue to prosper with the change in format.

“Historically that format suits us,” he said. “Last season when they split the league tables we were top in the longer format games.

“We have our spinners who can now bowl longer spells.”

All-rounder Pat Foster is back for Horspath’s top-of-the-table trip to Division 2 leaders Reading.

He comes into the side in place of Mark Skelton, who drops down to the 2nd XI.

Skipper Will Eason commented: “Obviously Reading have had a really good start as well, and it’s a good challenge to see where we are.”

Great & Little Tew give a debut to left-arm seamer Lawrence Brock for their game with Amersham at the Gordon Taylor Oval.

Ashley Hubbert and Matt Clark come back in with Ian Bryan and Robbie Shurmer unavailable, and Robbie Catling dropping down to the 2nd XI.

Skipper Simon Hole misses Shipton-under-Wychwood’s home game with Cove as he is on his brother Simon’s stag weekend.

Ross Barrett is also unavailable, while Jeremy Kirby drops down to the 2nd XI.

Charlie Brain takes over as skipper, with Joe Barrett, Calvin Dickinson and Craig Wood returning to the side.

TOMORROW’S TEAMS

Banbury (v Aston Rowant, home): Sabin, Ryan, Haupt, Cater, Bartlett, West, Hawkes, E Phillips, Blanchard, J Phillips (capt), Manley.

Aston Rowant (v Banbury, away): Morgan, J Smith, Hopwood, Leon, Watling, Morrick (capt), Hammond, Cook, Penhale, Muttitt, Cooper.

Oxford (v Burnham, home): Morgan, Perera, Laudat, J Barrett, Mendis, Crosby (capt), Davies, Beer, I Evans, Sutherland, Simon.

Great & Little Tew (v Amersham, home): White, Jordan Garrett, Smith, Slatter, Josh Garrett, Hubbert, Lloyd Brock, Woods, Harris (capt), Lawrence Brock, Clark.

Horspath (v Reading, away): R Eason, Cutter, Phillips, Ali, Foster, W Eason (capt), Wynd, Conradie, Faruq, Krol, Belcher.

Shipton-under-Wychwood (v Cove, home): J Barrett, Charlie Brain (capt), Wood, Dickinson, Sanklecha, Senior, Lewis, Cross, Seacole, Newhook, Miller.

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Oxford Mail: Michael Duberry

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MICHAEL DUBERRY COLUMN

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