CRICKET: Ryan relishing 'fantastic' final

Luke Ryan (far right) and his Oxfordshire teammates celebrate their quarter-final victory over Cumberland at Bicester & North Oxford

Luke Ryan (far right) and his Oxfordshire teammates celebrate their quarter-final victory over Cumberland at Bicester & North Oxford

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

UNICORNS COUNTIES TROPHY FINAL PREVIEW

OXFORDSHIRE captain Luke Ryan is looking forward to the biggest game of his career when he leads them against Devon tomorrow.

The Banbury left-arm spinner, 26, has been a fixture in the Oxon side since breaking though as a teenager.

But having reached the showpiece final at Wormsley in just his second season as skipper, he knows this is something really special.

“It will be the biggest game I have played in, both as a player and as a captain,” said Ryan.

“It will be fantastic. The boys are really up for it.

“I have not won anything before at this sort of level.”

Ryan and the other 12 members of Oxon’s squad will train at Wormsley tonight to get used to their surroundings ahead of the county’s first appearance in the final.

Richard Kaufman, Chad Keegan, Liam Manley and Lloyd Sabin are added to the side that beat Wiltshire in the semi-final. Joe Barrett and Michael Beard miss out.

Chris Watling could not be named in the squad due to work commitments.

Ryan will only name his side on the morning of the match.

He said: “We’ll get the squad together for a team meeting on Tuesday and preview the game, making sure everyone is prepared.

“We’ve played extremely well in the one-day format this season.

“When our availability has been good, we’ve shown what we can do.

“We have managed to chase scores and set scores, which is great.

“We have got a really promising one-day side with a lot of ability.

“We are comfortable in taking on Devon.”

Devon hammered Oxfordshire by nine wickets in the Championship earlier this summer, but Ryan says that will have no bearing on tomorrow’s match.

“We are not going to make too much comparison to the three-day game,” he said.

“Devon are a strong team and have beaten some good sides, like we have to get to the final.

“But when we lost to them at Banbury, we had a large number of unavailabilities and were nowhere near the side we’ll put out on Wednesday.

“In the last three Championship games when we were closer to our full side, we were competitive in all three and unlucky not to win more than one.”

Keegan, who topped Oxon’s batting and bowling averages in the Championship, missed the semi-final due to injury, but the former Middlesex and Sussex man is expected to be a key player “It’s great to have Chad involved,” said Ryan.

“It’s not just about his runs and wickets, it’s his all-round package and the impact he has on the team.”

SQUAD PROFILES

Luke Ryan (capt, Banbury) – Age: 26. rhb, left-arm spin. 
Ashley Blanchard (Banbury) – Age: 26. rhb, right-arm seam.
Jonny Cater (Banbury) – Age: 25. wicket-keeper/bat.
Hugo Darby (Spencer) – Age: 20. rhb, off-spin.
Nathan Hawkes (Banbury) – Age: 25. rhb, right-arm seam.
Richard Kaufman (Old Northamptonians) – Age: 33. rhb, off-spin.
Chad Keegan (Henley): – Age: 35. rhb, right-arm seam.
Liam Manley (Banbury): Age 23. rhb, left-arm seam.
Karl Penhale (Aston Rowant): Age: 22. rhb, right-arm seam.
Jamie Perkin (Oxford): Age: 25. rhb. 
Lloyd Sabin (Banbury) - Age 20. rhb.
Francois Vainker (Oxford) – Age: 26. rhb, left-arm spin.
Richard West (Banbury) – Age: 25. rhb, off-spin.
KEY
rhb=right-hand bat. lhb= left-hand bat. 

 

 

 

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