Former England Under 15 player Luke Merry makes his Minor Counties Championship debut in Oxfordshire's three-day game with Cheshire at Banbury, which starts on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Thame left-arm seamer comes in for Banbury off-spinner Jimmy Phillips.

Merry was a member of the Hampshire under 19 academy and played a handful of 2nd XI games for the first-class county last season.

A former pupil at Lord Williams's School, Thame, Merry has been plagued by shin splints and a persistent lower back problem over recent years.

But he took the first part of this summer off to concentrate on his second-year exams at Nottingham University - and he is now back to something near full fitness.

"Luke's been coming for a while, and we are glad of the chance to have a look at him," said Oxon skipper Keith Arnold.

"He should really bolster our bowling attack, and he is a decent batsman as well, which is a bonus."

Oxfordshire beat Herefordshire in their last match - their first win in the Championship for two years.

But Arnold believes that his men still have plenty of improving to do.

"It would be wrong to think that we are suddenly back to where we were a few years ago and that we are now a good side again.

"We have to put the win against Herefordshire in perspective - we always do well against them, and we were outplayed for the first two days.

"There are positives to take from the displays. Robbie Eason and Ian Evans batted well, and Ryan Newhook's hat-trick was something special.

"Ryan's a find for us, as he's only 18. But we have to remember that we are a young team and there is a long way to go."

Horspath batsman Eason misses this weekend's game as he has a broken collarbone, sustained in rugby training with Chinnor RFC.

"Robbie slid in for a try, got it wrong and ended up breaking a bone," explained Arnold.

Banbury left-hander Chris Smith comes in for Eason.

Shipton batsman Simon Hole makes way for Rob Williams.

Oxon: K Arnold (Banbury XX, capt), I Hawtin (Bicester & NO), R Kaufman, C Smith (both Banbury), R Williams (Leamington), C Knightley (unattached), A Cook, I Evans, P Evans (all Oxford), L Merry (Thame), R Newhook (Bourton Vale).