CRICKET: Rymer and Willett strengthen Westbury

thisisoxfordshire: Opening batsman Alex Yarnley has left Chadlington Opening batsman Alex Yarnley has left Chadlington

Defending champions Westbury have boosted their squad as they seek to defend their OCA League Division 1 title starting tomorrow, writes David Quinn.

Power-hitter Pete Rymer returns, while Dan Willett is added to their much-vaunted bowling attack.

Having opted not to join the Cherwell League, Westbury are in upbeat mood, despite Steve Wilkes’s move to Middleton Cheney.

Off-field, there are encouraging developments with the imminent construction of a new pavilion.

Meanwhile, arch-rivals and reigning Airey Cup champions, Shrivenham, are positive they can at least replicate 2013 despite the loss of Adam Tucker and Mark Whale.

The recruitment of Shaz Khan and Uzzi Sahar from the Wiltshire League lends credibility to their confidence.

Newly-promoted Cowley Internationals, buoyed by moving to Marston Sports Ground, welcome exciting young batsmen Musaleen and Haggi Sadiqi to their ranks.

However, the absence of outstanding bowler, Harron Usman, through injury, could disrupt early-season plans.

After a year in Division 2, Great Horwood are determined to retain their place in the elite league.

Bolstered by the acquisition of Glynn Davies from Winslow, plus the increased availability of Tim Hudson and Adam Armitage, they may have decent grounds for optimism.

After a momentous rise from Division 6 to 1 in just eight years, Chadlington were delighted to consolidate their position in 2013.

This may be the limit of their expectations as they enter the impending fray minus the services of opener, Alex Yarnley, and paceman, Matt Bunney.

Garsington go in with roughly the same line-up looking to improve on sixth place.

Hook Norton’s emphasis on bringing on youth will be maintained as they seek to improve on their mid-table position last term.

Fourth last campaign, Charlbury have placed their faith in a fresh young skipper, Josh Ormsby, and a good home batting strip, and there’s plenty of experience within the club.

Oxenford will be looking to avoid another relegation battle encouraged by the retention of Dipayan Das and Aaron Hirtenstein, leading run-scorer and wicket-taker respectively, last time around.

Minster Lovell will be be looking to build on last year’s third-place.

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