Club Cricket Conference

Wednesday, 22nd May 2024

Banbury clubs merge to provide broader cricket access

By Charles Randall

26 January 2012

Banbury CC and the town's other club, Banbury Twenty CC, have voted to merge to secure "good club cricket" for the future, retaining their existing grounds and offering increased resources for recreational players.

The new super-club, to be called Banbury Cricket, will host Home Counties Premier League matches under the captaincy of Ian Hawtin at the enviable facilities of White Post Road, and the Twenty ground at Ermont Way will continue to offer Cherwell League games.

Banbury Cricket will start life with joint-chairmen in Martin Phillips and Brian Griffiths, and the first obvious advantage of the new set-up is the formation of a new fifth team, using the Horton View sports ground. The club is aspiring to providing better access to cricket in the Oxfordshire area, which fits very well with the Club Cricket Conference's stated aim of increasing the number of recreational cricketers in England and Wales.

Phillips said: "The main reason for the amalgamation is to ensure that good club cricket is available in Banbury for years to come. The two clubs have produced great cricketers over the years, from Brian Jefferies to Keith Arnold to Robert Cunliffe to Luke Ryan. Protecting both clubs’ proud histories is important, but more so is ensuring that Banbury’s stars of the future have as good, if not better opportunities than those who have gone before them."

Griffiths disclosed that the idea of an amalgamation was raised by the Twenty committee at the end of the 2011 season. "We have been delighted with the reception the idea has received from the membership of both clubs," he said. "Everyone has been focusing on the many positives ahead and we are excited at the standard and variety of cricket we will see at both grounds in 2012."

Banbury Twenty was started in 1932 by 20 men who broke away from the main club. Banbury itself was re-formed in 1949 and became a founder member of the Home Counties Premier League in 2000, winning the inaugural title under the captaincy of the former England and Worcestershire seam bowler Neal Radford. The current coaching director is Paul Taylor, another former England seam bowler.