New captain Luke Ryan believes stellar signing Tim Paine can make a big impact as Banbury bid to secure their first title since the Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League’s inaugural year in 2000.

The 30-year-old wicket-keeper/batsman played four Tests for Australia in 2010, before hitting a one-day century against England at Trent Bridge the following year.

And he made a spectacular debut for the north Oxfordshire club last Saturday when blasting 116 off 69 balls in a nine-wicket friendly win at Great & Little Tew.

Ryan, who succeeds Jimmy Phillips as captain, said it wasn’t just Paine’s batting that left an impression.


“It was a pretty impressive display,” he said. “His batting has got the headlines, but his keeping was fantastic as well.

“The thing that stood out for me was the way he performed his skills. It almost looked like he was in slow motion.

“He looks like he will have a big impact for us.

“He is certainly one of the top batters in the league with an international pedigree.”

Ryan is also hoping for big things from new recruits, Oxfordshire seamer Karl Penhale and county opening batsman Hugo Darby as Banbury bid to improve on last year's third-placed finish.

They open their campaign at home to Horspath tomorrow.

And Ryan added: “We are targeting winning the league as we have done every year I have played for Banbury.

“We do have the players and the squad to win the league.”

Prolific run-scorer Craig Haupt is set to miss the season as he recovers from a knee operation.

IN: T Paine (University of Tasmania), K Penhale (Aston Rowant), H Darby (Spencer, Surrey), T Bradbeer (Stowe School).

OUT: N Hawkes (High Wycombe), J Cater (Buckingham Tn).


Banbury (v Horspath, home): from Darby, Sabin, Paine, West, Tew, Briggs, Ryan (capt), Blanchard, Penhale, Wright, J Phillips, Manley.