Sabin knows new-look side face an early examination

Banbury captain Lloyd Sabin feels the club has a good blend for the new campaign
Banbury captain Lloyd Sabin feels the club has a good blend for the new campaign

Captain Lloyd Sabin is looking forward to seeing how his new-look side fare in a double-header this weekend.

Banbury entertain High Wycombe in Saturday’s opening Home Counties Premier Cricket League fixture and the following day take on champions Henley in the ECB National Club Championship.

A realistic target to start is for us to finish in the top three, that where we feel we should be

Banbury captain Lloyd Sabin

Sabin feels those two games will be a good indicator as to how well Banbury can do this season.

Sabin has brought in several new players after Craig Haupt’s retirement and Steve Green’s move away.

Sabin said: “It’s the biggest change in terms of players coming in but I had to deal with several leaving the first year I took over. Obviously with Craig Haupt retiring and Steve Green moving away it left us without two experienced players but Richard West will be vice-captain, he’s consistent every year.

“It’s looking positive, we were a bit inconsistent last year, I felt at times when the league changed to the longer format we played well, getting good scores but unable to bowl teams out.

“That can be difficult to get maximum points and at the end of the season, because we didn’t have a lot to play for, it fizzled out.”

Banbury begin their division one campaign against Wycombe and Sabin said: “Everyone is looking for a fresh start and the opening match against Wycombe will be a good indicator to see where we are. They have strengthened throughout their squad so it will be a tough opening fixture and we need to be ready for it.

“Henley will always be thereabouts, they’ve got a lot of experienced, senior players who have a positive attitude which rubs off on their younger players.

“That’s something I’m trying to instil here, getting a good core of players together.

“Henley will still be the team to beat, we play them in the ECB Cup on Sunday so this weekend will be a good gauge for us, which areas we need to improve, but there won’t be any pressure on us.

“I’ve got a rough idea what the top four batsmen will be but not finalised which order they will bat, that will depend on form, the format and who we are playing.

“A realistic target to start is for us to finish in the top three, that’s where we feel we should be. Paul Taylor has come in as director of cricket and he will be a big help for me with his experience.

“We’ve spoken to the squad about what we need to achieve. Cricket is one of those sports in which if individuals are performing as they can then the team tends to do well.”