CLUBS from the two largest cricket leagues in Oxfordshire will meet next week to discuss a proposed merger, writes MICHAEL KNOX.

Officials from the Cherwell League and the Oxfordshire Cricket Association (OCA) have held talks over the past two years regarding an amalgamation.

Cherwell League chairman Clive Ricks said: “We see this as providing a pathway for both clubs and officials to progress and potentially play in the Home Counties Premier League.

“At present, there’s a procedure for the OCA champions having to apply to join the Cherwell – and then get put into Division 4. We want to make the whole process easier.”

At the meeting, to be held at the King’s Centre, Osney Mead, Oxford, on Wednesday (7.30pm), there will be a short presentation followed by a panel question and answer session with club representatives.

Ricks said: “Nothing will be decided there and then, although we may hold a straw poll at the end of the meeting to gauge opinion.”

The OCA, founded in 1905, is one of the oldest leagues in the south of England, while their Airey Cup competition goes back to the 19th century.

Ricks reassured the 51 OCA clubs that their cup competitions would be retained in the new structure.

The Cherwell League was formed in 1974 and boasts 97 teams from 30 clubs.