OXFORDSHIRE have bolstered their young squad by signing up former professional Gareth Andrew, writes MICHAEL KNOX.

The 34-year-old seamer, who played 14 seasons of first-class cricket with Somerset, Worcestershire and Hampshire, makes his debut in Oxon's Unicorns KO Trophy second round tie against Hertfordshire at Welwyn Garden City on Sunday.

Also in the side is Oxford captain Jamie Perkin, who returns after a four-year self-imposed absence.

Andrew, whose last first-class match was for Hampshire in 2016, is also a hard-hitting left-hand batsman.

He is seen as a successor to former Middlesex all-rounder Chad Keegan, who performed the role as senior pro with success for several seasons.

Andrew, whose late father was once chairman of Dorchester-on-Thames CC, took 238 wickets in 96 first-class matches between 2003 and 2016, and has one century to his name.

His introduction to the county came from Jack Brooks, the Yorkshire cricketer, who used to play for Oxfordshire.

Ian Hawtin, the county’s chairman of selectors, said: “We have a young squad of players and needed some experience both on and off the field to support the captain Jonny Cater.

“Gareth seems the ideal candidate and will also bolster our batting. His experience will be invaluable.”

Andrew will play in all Unicorns Counties Championship and KO Trophy matches this season.

Meanwhile Perkin, who was the top run-scorer in the Minor Counties Championship in 2011, is ready to play for Oxfordshire again.

“For reasons I’d rather not go in to, I decided to take a break from Oxfordshire cricket four years ago," he said.

“But I’ve been pestered to return and am now willing to play.”

Hawtin said: “From his past record, Jamie is a quality player and is in good form this season with a couple of


“He will also add much-needed experience to the squad.”

After solely playing T20 cricket so far this summer – with little success – Oxon will look forward to playing in the 50-over format against Hertfordshire, having received a bye in the first round of what is now a complete knockout competition.

Oxfordshire (v Hertfordshire): J Cater (Buckingham Town) capt, G Andrew (Ombersley), L Bethell (Aston Rowant), O Clarke (Banbury), J Garrett (Great & Little Tew & Gloucs), M Hammond (Aston Rowant & Gloucs), R Kaufman (Old Northamptonians), J Perkin (Oxford), T Price (Great & Little Tew & Gloucs), H Smith (Great & Little Tew), J Thomas (Great & Little Tew).