MEASURING success is often down to circumstance and previous experience – for Oxfordshire’s cricketers it is no different.

The side start their Unicorns T20 campaign over the bank holiday weekend with a point to prove.

Oxon lost all eight games in 2018 to finish bottom of Group 2.

“It can’t get any worse than what happened last year,” said captain Jonny Cater.

“Any improvement on that in terms of results and the way we play (would be a success).”

Oxon have four games this weekend with double headers against Herefordshire at Brockhampton on Sunday and Shropshire at Magdalen College School on Monday.

Ensuring they are still in contention to progress from Group 2 at the half-way point is the minimum requirement.

And Cater, who is in his third season as skipper, is expecting a far more competitive showing.

He said: “We underperformed last year and I’d like to think we’ve learnt from some of those mistakes.

“Even if we do have a mixed weekend and only win two of our games, it keeps you in the hunt for the remainder of the tournament.

“We want to make sure we give ourselves a chance.”

The wicketkeeper-batsman added: “I just want to see us be competitive against whoever we play.

“In this format, it takes one batsman or bowler to have an outstanding game to change it and we need those individual performances, which we didn’t have last year.

“We’re hoping it can be our year with regards to that.”

Oxon are boosted by the selection of Gareth Andrew, who will make his T20 debut for the side.

The former Worcestershire all-rounder starred in the longer formats last year – including a stunning performance against Dorset in the Unicorns Counties Championship which saw him return match-winning figures of 14-107.

Cater said: “We decided to get him in earlier and it just boosts our side for this format.

“We know what he is all about, he was outstanding for us last year, we know his skill sets, and it was quite an easy decision to make.”

Will Sutcliffe, George Sandbach and Russell White are handed their minor counties debuts.

With spinners Harvey Eltham and Richard Kaufman unavailable, Tom Cosford and George Tait have a chance to impress.

Matt Warner also makes his competitive white-ball debut for Oxon.


Oxon: S Alam (Twyford), G Andrew (Ombersley), L Bethell (A Rowant), J Cater (Buckingham Tn), O Clarke (Banbury), T Condon (A Rowant), T Cosford (Horspath), G Sandbach (Ox Downs), W Sutcliffe (Thame Tn), G Tait*, J Thomas (both Banbury), M Warner (Chesham), R White+ (Buckingham Tn).

*Sunday only +Monday only