SHRIVENHAM’S league season begins on Saturday when they travel to newly-promoted Great Horwood in the opening fixture of the Oxfordshire Cricket Association Division One, writes James Harris.

The two sides did meet in last year’s Airey Cup semi-final, a match Shrivenham won narrowly, but have not faced each other on league terms since 2012.

Last year’s match winner, Rob Wycherley, who scored 50 in Shrivenham’s 21-run victory, will be in action again this weekend.

“Of course it would be fantastic to win the first game of the season and to start our campaign in the best possible way. More importantly, though, it is the way we show up and perform as a team, as this is where we capitalised last year,” the batsman said.

After the loss of key personnel over the winter, Shrivenham’s season could be less straightforward than last term. However, this Saturday will see a debut handed to Simon Hipwell and a return to the club for Shaz Khan.

Alex Bowles also takes charge of his first league game as club captain and Wycherley remains confident that both the squad and the skipper will deliver.

“It is a big ask to keep wicket, bat in the top order and captain the side, so he may need the help of his senior players, but he’ll bring some interesting new ideas and I’m looking forward to playing under him,” he said.

“We still have a strong backbone in the team and Great Horwood will have their own concerns as it is their first match in a higher division following promotion.

“If we play to our strengths and capabilities we should prove worthy victors, much like last year, but whatever happens, no one will have won or lost the league by 8pm on Saturday.”