WILL Eason is backing Horspath’s star batsman Rameez Raja to replicate his heroics in a higher division.

The former Pakistan T20 international is set to feature in the side’s opener at Burnham tomorrow.

Raja, who will also keep wicket this year due to Jasper Davies’s unavailability, broke Horspath’s club record for the most runs scored in a season with 595 during their title-winning campaign in 2016.

And Eason is backing him to continue his form in the top-flight.

The skipper said: “He’s just a class above anyone else that we’ve ever had at our club.

“In the league last year, I think, without being disrespectful, the better the bowling attack, the better he played.

“He seems to take on the challenge well, so hopefully that’s a good sign for this season.”

Horspath made an immediate return to the top-flight, winning Division 2 with an unbeaten record after suffering relegation on the final day in 2015.

Eason has looked to strengthen his side with the additions of bowler Ian Slatcher, opener Tom Colman, as well as batsmen James Fitzjohn and Tom Cosford.

The Horspath skipper said: “I think consolidation would be a great achievement.

“When you look at the sides this year, it looks a lot stronger than 2015.”


J Fitzjohn (Cumnor), I Slatcher (Reading), T Coleman (Colwall), T Cosford (Free Foresters).


A Price (North Middlesex).

Captain John Barrett hopes Oxford can consolidate their place after making an immediate return to the top-flight.

The side finished runners-up in Division 2 last year and will be hoping for a better campaign than two seasons ago.

Oxford were relegated without a single victory, but Barrett is optimistic.

He said: “You never know how strong other sides are going to be.

“We’ll concentrate on ourselves and a mid-table finish would be good.

“I don’t want to say we’re purely there to stay in the league, we as a club want to compete, but consolidation is the aim.”

Oxford have been handed a tough start with an away trip to champions Finchampstead.

Indian left-arm seamer Samad Fallah will play again this season, but the club are waiting on his visa ahead of this weekend.

Barrett is delighted to see the overseas star, who took a club record 58 wickets in Division 2, return for another year.

He said: “We’re hoping he can produce again going up a level. We’re looking forward to having him back.”

Oxford have also brought in batsman Mohammad Ayub, who played in a Test match for Pakistan against Sri Lanka in 2012.

The 37-year-old has been featuring in the Birmingham & District Division for Shifnal, while Jamie Perkin has returned to the club.


M Ayub (Shifnal), J Perkin (Shipton-under-Wychwood).


G Munsey, H Stephens (Beaconsfield), S Alam (Burnham).