Oxford MCCU’s Freddie Coleman has been given the all-clear to face his county side, Warwickshire, in the opening first-class game of the season in The Parks today (11am).
The 21-year-old batsman, who recently signed a professional contract with the county champions, broke the little finger of his left hand during net practice while on tour with the Bears in Barbados last month.
But coach Graham Char-lesworth said: “He is going to play, and he is keen to play with it being against his county side.”
Coleman is one of five players in the Oxford squad this season who are with first-class counties.
He is joined by captain Charlie Morris and Tom Fell, who have signed for Worcestershire, and Ben Kemp, who is with Kent.
The quintet is completed by Jonny Marsden, who is at Derbyshire, although he is on the sidelinesafter suffering a twisted ankle in net practice.
It will be Morris’s first season as skipper.
Banbury batsman Lloyd Sabin is one of five students making their first-class debuts.
Looking ahead to the three-day fixture, Charlesworth added: “They are the county champions, so it like playing Manchester United.”
The experienced Sam Agarwal is once again in Oxford’s ranks, having come back from the Blues tour to South Africa, while Charlie Ellison returns from his stint with the MCC in UAE.
Warwickshire, captained by Jim Troughton, include England Lions batsman Varun Chopra, who was yesterday named in England’s provisional squad of 30 for the Champions Trophy.
Warwickshire, who open the defence of their county championship title against Derbyshire at Edgbaston on Wednesday, are fresh from thrashing the MCC by an innings and 29 runs in Abu Dhabi.
Oxford will move on from playing Warwickshire to face Cambridge in the BUCS Premier A League at Fenner’s on Wednesday followed by a two-day clash against the opponents in the MCCU Championship at the same venue on Thursday and Friday.
And Charlesworth added: “I am not sure how we will go because sides changes and people come and leave, but there is always a Lord’s final to play for.”
Oxford MCCU (from): S Agarwal, L Sabin*, O Jones, F Coleman, T Fell*, B Williams, S Davison* (wk), C Bodenstein*, C Morris (capt), C Ellison, B Kemp, W Marriot*.
Warwicks (from): V Chopra, I Westwood, W Porterfield, J Troughton (capt), L Evans, T Ambrose, T Milnes, P McKay* (wk), Shozair Ali*, O Hannon-Dalby, R Gordon, T Allin.
*denotes first-class debut