A team of intrepid cricketers from Didcot will be playing on a very slippery wicket later this month.

The players, from Milton Park-based publishers Taylor and Francis, are competing in an Ice Cricket tournament on a frozen lake in Estonia in aid of Comic Relief.

The unusual format follows the same rules as the game more usually associated with village greens in summer.

Teams wear cricket spikes for grip but players are urged to ditch their traditional 'whites', in case they get lost in a snowdrift.

The international tournament will be played on Lake Harku, near the Estonian capital Tallinn. In preparation for the competition the team, who hope to raise £5,000, have been training at Oxford Ice Rink in Oxpens Road.

Team manager Nick Browne said playing in sub-zero temperatures and blizzards in aid of Comic Relief had one advantage - the players would all be sporting natural red noses.

He added: "If we progress in the tournament we'll have the chance to play against the Estonian National Cricket team.

"Although they're not widely recognised for their cricketing ability, I've heard they take it very seriously, so I hope they don't give us a frosty reception."

Team-mate James Davis, who is also captain of Oxford Cricket Club's third XI, added: "I initially thought my team mates were winding me up, but now I'm really looking forward to the tournament and raising money."

He said the squad of seven players had funded the trip themselves and all donations would go straight to Comic Relief.

The team leaves for Tallinn tomorrow (Thu). To sponsor them visit www.myrednoseday.com/icecricket