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CRICKET: Hawtin back at the helm for Oxon
Skipper Ian Hawtin returns after injury as Oxfordshire take on Western Division leaders Cornwall in a three-day Minor Counties Championship game game at Great & Litte Tew, starting on Sunday.
It is a big game for fourth-placed Oxon, who – with victories in their final two games – could well finsh top of the table and qualify for the Championship play-off.
So the county are pleased to welcome back their skipper, who was out of action for two months after breaking his elbow in a fall at his home.
In Hawtin’s absence, the side was captained by Richard Kaufman, who led them to a decsive victory over Herefordshire after the three previous matches been ruined by the weather.
The star against Herefordshirewas Banbury’s Jonny Cater, who had been brought into the side to keep wicket in Hawtin’s absence.
Cater scored 77 and 106 in the 107-run win and retains his place in the side, as batsman.
“Jonny got into the side as a batsman last year, so we know what a good player he is,” said Hawtin. Oxon coach Rupert Evanssaid: “Johnny batted and kept very well and has realised the talented he showed when he played in our development side. There are three changes to the Oxfordshire line-up.
No 1 spinner Luke Ryan returns in place of fellow left-arm Francois Vainker, who is off to Argentina for three months.
Hawtin and Gloucestershire 2nd XI seamer David Wade come in for the unavailable Daniel Rowe, who has paired up well with Chad Keegan in the seam-bowling department, and Ashley Blanchard.
Hawtin said: “There’s all to play for in our division, as the weather has prevented any team picking up a series of wins.”
Cornwall lead the table after being the only side to record two victories.
“They are always difficult to beat on their own territory,” said Evans.
“But they’re obviously playing well, so we expect a tough game.
“Let’s hope the weather doesn’t intervene again.”
Play starts at 11am each day.
Oxfordshire (Cornwall): I Hawtin (capt), R Kaufman, L Sabin, J Perkin, C Knightley, J Cater, C Watling, C Keegan, L Ryan, D Smith, D Wade.
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