OXFORDSHIRE have called up Abingdon Vale all-rounder Joe Butcher for their Unicorns Counties Championship match against Dorset at Bournemouth, starting on Sunday.

Although an excellent batsman who has scored a big century for his club this season, it is as a quick bowler that Butcher has been selected for his debut.

The 22-year-old comes in for Didcot’s Rob Keat, whose own debut against Shropshire was curtailed by a side strain.

Oxon, who lost that game by eight wickets, have made three other changes to their line-up for the Western Division clash.

Jordan Garrett and Richard Kaufman return to bolster the batting in place of Callum Russell and Vishane Perera, while spinner Joe Thomas comes in for Harvey Eltham.

The absence of Eltham is, skipper Jonny Cater admits, “a massive blow.”

The young Oxford off-spinner bowled 54 overs and took nine wickets in the Shropshire game.

Cater rates Eltham very highly.

“He is an exceptional talent and has the potential to go far in the game – if he wants it,” said the skipper.

Turning to Butcher, Cater said: “Joe has done well in student cricket and has an opportunity to showcase his talent.

Butcher gets his chance as Karl Penhale has work commitments, while Will Rooney’s availability has been restricted by his decision to pursue a career in the army.

Cater is hoping to add to Oxon’s thrilling five-run victory over Devon last month.

“I think if we can win two games in the Championship, it would be regarded as a successful season, as we are playing without a professional,” he said.

“Shropshire had four pros, Dorset have a one (Leicestershire’s Jigar Naik) and are a similar strength to us. We can certainly win it.”

“We are stronger for the return of Richard Kaufman. It’s not just what he does on the field. He is someone the younger players can learn from.”

Oxfordshire: J Cater (Buckingham Tn) capt, L Bethell (Aston Rowant), J Butcher (Abingdon Vale), O Clarke (Banbury), J Fitzjohn (Horspath), J Garrett (Great Tew), R Kaufman (Old Northamptonians), L Sabin (Banbury), H Smith (Great Tew), B Taylor (Banbury), J Thomas (Great & Little Tew).