Skipper Ian Crosby is hoping the recruitment of former Hampshire wicket-keeper Michael Bates as player-coach will give Oxford a boost for their Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League Division 1 campaign.

The 24-year-old was released by Hampshire in the winter after making 46 first-class appearances.

He earned wide recognition for his glovework, which included a last-ball stumping to help Hampshire win the 2012 Cyldesdale Bank 40.

He averaged 21.20 with the bat, with a highest score of 103, but it seems the south coast county felt he didn’t score the weight of runs they were looking for.


Crosby said: “He is a very experienced first-class cricketer.

“He is still young and trying to get back into first-class cricket.

“He should be a great addition for us.

“He is one of the best keepers in the country.”

While Bates has joined Oxford, together with Oxfordshire paceman Will Rooney, Frankie Vainker has decided to play for Weybridge in Surrey where he lives and Stuart Hole and Jamie Perkin have moved to Shipton-under-Wychwood.

Crosby added: “You want to build on what happened the season before, but with a few ins and outs it is probably a year when we need to consdoliate.”

Oxford start what will be their last season at Roman Way when they face Tring Park tomorrow.

Their 3rd and 4th XIs are playing at Oxford University Press’s Jordan Hill ground this term, an option the club are keen to explore for their higher teams next year.

IN: M Bates (Hampshire), W Rooney (Thame Tn), B Morton (Oxford Brookes), S Thornton (Oxford Brookes), R Musk (Pedmore, Stourbridge).

OUT: S Hole (Shipton-under-Wychwood), J Perkin (Shipton-under-Wychwood), F Vainker (Weybridge), A Price (Horspath), D Bowyer (Wolverhampton).


Oxford (v Tring Park, home): from Sutherland, Perera, Laudat, Bates, Clough, Crosby (capt), Mendis, Thornton, Beer, Eltham, Rooney, I Evans.