CRICKET: Rooney out to impress after surprise Oxon call

Will Rooney will make his Oxfordshire debut on Sunday

Will Rooney will make his Oxfordshire debut on Sunday

First published in Sport The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

DEBUTANT WILL Rooney wants to take his chance after being called up for Oxfordshire’s Western Division clash with Devon at Banbury.

The 20-year-old Thame Town seamer comes in for the game starting on Sunday after helping Oxfordshire Academy defeat their Berkshire counterparts this week.

Rooney told me: “I was quite surprised because I heard about it from your message first. I hadn’t checked my emails!

“Hopefully, I will be able to nail down a spot.

“I understand the bowlers have been going well, but hopefully I can get a few wickets and take my chance.”

Rooney is one of five changes from the opening defeat against Wiltshire.

Aston Rowant trio Richard Cook, Karl Penhale and Chris Watling also come in alongside Richard Kaufman (Old Northamptonians).

Vishane Perera, Michael Beard, Curtly Slatter, Ashley Blanchard and Faisal Khalid all drop out.

Rooney, who spent part of last season at Rowant, feels he is bowling as well as ever and ready to step up.

“I have sorted my action out finally and my consistency has been a bit better,” said the ex-Oxon youth player.

“The longest game I have played before is a two-day match and I don’t expect the effort to be too different.

“I am lot fitter than I was as.

“Hopefully, I can keep doing what I am doing for Thame.”

Sunday’s match also sees Banbury captain and off-spinner Jimmy Phillips get another chance to impress.

“I am really happy with how the ball is coming out,” he said. “Hopefully, I can do myself justice.”

Devon have included young fast bowlers Ben Green (Somerset and England Under 17s) and Jack Popham in their squad of 12.

Oxfordshire: Ryan (capt, Banbury), Alam (Leamington), Cater (Banbury), Cook (Aston Rowant), Davies (Oxford), Kaufman (Old Northamptonians), Manley (Banbury), Penhale (Aston Rowant), J Phillips (Banbury), Rooney (Thame), Watling (Aston Rowant).

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