SKIPPER Charlie Brain still has confidence in Shipton-under-Wychwood’s batting line-up, despite a mass exodus of talent in the close season.

Two very promising young batsmen Calvin Dickinson and Joe Barrett have left the Division 2 club in an attempt to further their careers.

Dickinson has been given a scholarship by Hampshire, while Barrett has joined MCC Young Cricketers and will play his club cricket in Middlesex.

In addition, Oxfordshire middle-order batsman Jamie Perkin has returned to Oxford.

Brain, whose side begin their campaign at home to Aston Rowant, said: “I reckon that with the core strength of our side – players such as Charlie Miller, Craig Wood, Simon Hole and Ian Lewis still at the club – we’ll be OK.”

Another reason for optimism is the return of their Indian all-rounder Anupam Sanklecha.

Following a successful 2015 campaign, Sanklecha missed much of last season to be with his new-born child in India.

“I think most will agree that Anupam is the best bowler in the league and I’m sure he will be batting higher up the order this year,” said Brain.

Adding to their bowling strength will be seamer Scott Harris, who was the leading wicket-taker for Blewbury & Wallingford in the Cherwell League last season, and off-spinner Adi Rai from Cookham Dean.

Because of football commitments with North Leigh, George Seacole has joined OCA League side Witney Swifts.

Brain added: “We may not have the talent to win the league, but I’m confident we can finish in the top half.”


S Harris (Blewbury & Wallingford), A Rai (Cookham Dn).


C Dickinson (Hampshire), J Barrett (MCC Young Cricketers), J Perkin (Oxford), G Seacole (Witney Swifts).

Aston Rowant skipper Josh Smith is in a bullish mood after signing a new overseas player for 2017.

Batsman James McDougall, who plays second-grade cricket for New Plymouth in New Zealand, has joined the club.

Smith is optimistic about his side’s prospects.

He said: “It’s the strongest side we’ve had since I’ve been captain.

“It’s great to have a full-blown overseas this year, while most of our young side have played at least three years of Premier League cricket and are now experienced at this level.”

Rowant have also added Oxfordshire seamer Karl Penhale to their bowling attack, while Will Pendered has joined from Hertfordshire club Chorleywood.


J McDougall (New Plymouth), K Penhale (Banbury), W Pendered (Chorleywood).


AJ Dyer, R Cook (Didcot).

Thame Town’s new skipper Michael Beard is looking for improvement after they finished just above the relegation zone in 2016.

“I thought we underperformed last season,” said the left-hand all-rounder, who takes over the reins from Mike Higgs. “I’m aiming for us to finish middle to upper half.”

They have brought in overseas player Gamindu Kanishka, an experienced Sri Lankan top-order batsman. He replaces Matt Macdonald, who has returned to South Africa.

The batting is further boosted by middle-order batsman Richard Straghan, who played with Beard while they were at university together in the north-east.

Thame, who face Datchet, have also recruited brothers Callum (wicket-keeper) and Andy Russell (spinner) from Cumnor.

Higgs decided to step down from the captaincy after becoming a father for the first time.


G Kanishka (Sri Lanka), R Straghan (Newcastle), C Russell, A Russell (both Cumnor).


M Macdonald (S Africa), H Garg.