CRICKET: Oxfordshire gain benefit from Sussex link

thisisoxfordshire: Richard Kaufman returns to the Oxfordshire side to face Sussex on Monday Richard Kaufman returns to the Oxfordshire side to face Sussex on Monday

Oxfordshire have praised their relationship with Sussex as outstanding on the eve of their Twenty20 friendly match at Hove on Monday.

Since the link-up between the two counties in August, Sussex have sent coaches to all Oxfordshire weekend coaching sesssions and have tested the fitness levels of both boys and girls squads.

“The relationship is working fantastically well,” said Rupert Evans, Oxfordshire’s head of cricket.

“I cannot speak too highly of Sussex head of perfor-mance cricket Keith Greenfield and his coaching staff.

“We’re seeing the benefits already.”

In addition to Monday’s match, in which Sussex will pick their side from their first-team squad, the counties will be playing at 2nd XI and under 17 level this summer.

Their under 11 and 13s will also be playing at the same end of season festivals.

Also Oxon’s coaches have benefitted from sessions conducted by their first-class counterparts.

Oxfordshire make just one change to their squad for the trip to Sussex’s headquarters, from the side that beat Bedfordshire by two-wickets in a 50-overs friendly at Aston Rowant last Sunday.

“The win was very welcome,” said Evans.

“But the real benefit was that both batsmen and bowlers gained quality practice in the middle, early in the season.”

Richard Kaufman who was unavailable for the Bedfordshire game last Sunday, replaces Damian Shirazi, who cannot make the trip to the south coast.

The minor county will have a training session at the Blackstone ground in Brighton in the morning before moving on to Hove.

Oxon team (from): Ryan (Banbury, capt), Shabaz Alam (Leamington Spa), Blanchard, Cater (both Banbury), Kaufman (Old Northamptonians), Man-ley (Banbury), Penhale (Aston Rowant), Perkin (Oxford), Sabin (Banbury), Watling (Aston Rowant), West (Banbury), Woods (Great Tew).

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