JONNY Cater is backing his confident Oxfordshire side to once again deliver in the three-day format.

They begin their Unicorns Counties Championship campaign against Cornwall at Truro CC on Sunday.

Oxon impressed in the competition in 2018, finishing second in the Western Division.

Skipper Cater is not getting carried away by last year’s showing and, with the competition being restructured, has his sights set on a top-five finish.

The regions will be split in two for 2020, so a good finish would see Oxon placed in Western Division 1 next season.

“The idea is to play the best counties,” said Cater.

“This year’s standings will have an impact on where we’re placed next year.

“So it’s important to finish in that top five.”

Cater’s side head into the competition buoyed by a strong 2019 so far, which has seen them reach the quarter-finals of the one-day Knockout Trophy and finish second in their T20 group.

It is an impressive turnaround from this time last year when Oxon began their Western Division campaign with only one competitive victory.

Cater added: “It’s been a considerable improvement.

“The squad head into this weekend high on confidence.

“It’s a different format, but the players will continue to play their way.”

Oxon name a 12-man squad, with off-spinner Harvey Eltham returning after a year out of the side, while all-rounder Tom Price also comes in.

Eltham has taken 11 league wickets for Oxford this season and Cater is hoping he can continue his strong form.

He said: “There’s no questioning his ability and his bowling at Truro in particular, which often takes a bit of spin, will be beneficial for us.

“He comes back in on merit, he’s done really well, so we’re hoping he can continue that for Oxfordshire.”


G Andrew (Ombersley), J Butcher (Abingdon Vale), J Cater (Buckingham Tn), O Clarke (Banbury), T Condon (Aston Rowant), H Eltham (Oxford), J Garrett (Downend), R Kaufman (Old Northamptonians), T Price (Bedminster), H Smith (Leamington), G Tait (Banbury), J Thomas (Banbury).