OXFORD face a waiting game as to whether star bowler Samad Fallah will be available for their trip to Slough tomorrow.
The left-arm seamer’s visa has been granted, but a public holiday in India this week prevented him from collecting it before Wednesday.
Fallah has been named in a squad of 13 for the Home Counties Premier League Division 1 clash, but captain John Barrett says it is up in the air as to whether he will play.
He said: “It’s been a bit of a nightmare.
“His visa’s been granted and we’re waiting for him to collect it, he’s not got it in his hands.
“He’s in the squad, but it’s going to be last minute.
“We won’t know until Saturday. It’s unlikely but possible.”
Kasim Nawaz will play if Fallah is not able to, while Ian Crosby replaces Richard Musk after last week’s last-over defeat against High Wycombe.
Barrett said: “We should have won from the position we got into, but we dropped too many catches.
“It’s one of those things, we’ve not got a bad fielding side.”
Early leaders Banbury will have their overseas player Aizaz Cheema available against Henley.
The seamer, who played seven Test matches for Pakistan, now has his visa and comes into the side in place of Ben Ward.
Banbury have won two games without Cheema, but captain Lloyd Sabin is looking forward to having the 37-year-old available alongside Ollie Wright, who took four wickets in last week’s victory over Horspath.
The skipper said: “He will go straight into the team.
“We’ve needed a good opening bowler and hopefully that’s what we’ve got.”
Sabin was also full of praise for seamer Wright.
He said: “Ollie felt as though he had not been bowling as well as he could have done, but last week he put that right.”
While Banbury top the table after two matches, Sabin is not putting any pressure on his side.
He added: “I said to the team this week will probably be our first big challenge of the year.
“There’s no pressure on us.”
Josh Megson replaces Ollie Clarke, who is unavailable.
Captain Will Eason is calling for an improved performance when Horspath take on Finchampstead.
The newly-promoted side suffered a nine-wicket defeat at home to Banbury – their first defeat since 2015.
Eason said: “It was a performance where we let ourselves down more than anything.
“But when you look at the bigger picture, it was the first time we had lost in 20 games.
“I would’ve taken that 20 games ago.”
James Fitzjohn is back at university, so middle-order batsman Mark Jefferson makes his first-team debut.
Great & Little Tew travel to winless Burnham and captain Harry Smith is hoping for an improved bowling display.
Tew fell to a nine-wicket defeat at Slough, who chased down a target of 156 in 40 overs.
Smith, who has named an unchanged team, said: “We definitely need a bowling reaction.
“But we’ve got to beat teams like Burnham if we want to stay in the league.”
Oxford (v Slough, away): from Tong-Jones, Eltham, Clough, Ayub, Perkin, Barrett, Mendis, Beer, Sadiqi, Humphreys, Crosby, Fallah, Nawaz.
Banbury (v Henley, home): Haupt, Bartlett, Sabin, Hill, West, Hawtin, Wilkins, Wright, Taylor, Megson.
Horspath (v Finchampstead, away): Stead, R Eason, Coleman, Raja, Cosford, Green, W Eason, Slatcher, Faruk, Belcher, Jefferson.
Great & Little Tew (v Burnham, away): Smith, Garrett, Woodward, Slatter, Catling, Shurmer, Adams, Harris, Thomas, Manley, Bryan.
ASTON Rowant will not risk seamer Gordon Harris when they host Harefield in Division 2 tomorrow.
The early pacesetters made it successive wins when beating Datchet by nine wickets last weekend.
Harris, who bowled four overs in the victory, is struggling with a shoulder problem and captain Josh Smith sees no sense in aggravating it.
He said: “It’s more precautionary.
“We’ll let him rest and be fit for the rest of the season rather than bowl him into the ground.”
Shipton-under-Wychwood’s Charlie Brain has stressed the importance of picking up a win against Chesham.
The west Oxfordshire side suffered a last-over defeat at Harefield six days ago.
Captain Brain said: “It’s a fixture we should be looking to win.
“We need that extra few percentage to get us over the line.”
Simon Hole, Harry Davies and Joe Cockroft are included in a squad of 13, with Aditya Rai on holiday and Ian Harris dropping to the 2nd XI.
Thame Town are without the services of Mike Higgs when they travel to Amersham.
The opener and spinner is unavailable, while James Klapper is out, so Jimmy Adams and Jimmy Nelson come in.
Aston Rowant (v Harefield, home): Bethell, Condon, McDougall, Smith, Watling, Morrick, Pendered, Robyns, Barras, Muttitt, Jewell.
Shipton (v Chesham, home): from Hemming, Wood, C Miller, Brain, Sanklecha, Cross, Lewis, S Harris, S Miller, Hole, Davies, Cockroft.
Thame Tn (v Amersham, away): Sutcliffe, Kanishka, Beard, Straughan, Mushtaq, Phippen, Russell, Rooney, Swain, Adams, Nelson.