CAPTAIN Jonny Cater is expecting a tough assignment when Oxfordshire return to action this weekend.

The side face Sussex Academy in two friendly T20 games at Blackstone on Sunday.

Oxon have been training on a weekly basis since Christmas and have included a number of new faces in their squad.

Wicket-keeper/batsman Cater is looking forward to seeing how his side fare as they accelerate their preparations for the Minor Counties season.

He said: “This weekend will just be a case of looking at what everyone can do.

“For a lot of us it will be our first game, so it will be about getting some time out in the middle.

“It’s always a bit of a weird feeling playing your first game, nothing quite comes out as it normally would do.

“Playing the likes of Sussex, they’ve probably been training since mid-November.

“It will be a massive challenge, but results come second to performances at this stage.”

George Sandbach, Will Sutcliffe, Russell White and Mo Rizvi have all received their first call-ups.

Seamers Matt Warner and Robbie Shurmer, who have previously impressed for Oxon in the three-day format, are given an opportunity in white-ball cricket.

Cater added: “Training has been going really well.

“We have some fresh faces and we’re looking forward to this weekend.

“Mo expressed an interest in playing minor counties, so he’s trained with us all winter and impressed.

“Will, I’ve known him for a fair amount of time and he’s always been knocking on the door with regards to his performances.

“He’s done well and impressed the coaches with the way he plays.

“This weekend is just giving the likes of those two and others the chance to show what they’re made of.”

Oxon also face Free Foresters in two T20 games at Abingdon School on Easter Monday, before a 50-over fixture against Buckinghamshire at Aston Rowant on April 28.

They begin their Unicorns T20 campaign over the weekend of May 5-6, facing Herefordshire and Shropshire in Group 2.


Butcher (Abingdon Vale), Cater, White (both Buckingham Tn), Clarke, Thomas (both Banbury), Condon (Aston Rowant), Kaufman (Old Northamptonians), Keat (Oxford), Rizvi (Oxford MCCU), Sandbach (Oxford Downs), Shurmer (Barnt Green), Smith (Leamington), Sutcliffe (Thame Tn), Warner (Chesham).