Evans calls for cup to move to Sunday

Oxford CC captain Rupert Evans has called for the Bernard Tollett Oxfordshire Cup to be scrapped in its present format – and replaced with a Sunday knockout competition.

Evans, the county’s development officer, believes the 20 overs-a-side evening competition is now outdated.

He points to a dwindling number of entries and a change in people’s working lives as reasons to make the switch.

And he has called on the Oxfordshire Cricket Board, who run the competition, to change the format.

Evans, the former Oxfordshire captain, said: “I think we should scrap it in its present format. People now travel longer distances to work and situations change.

“You can have your local evening leagues like they do around Banbury, but to ask Banbury to travel to Challow or Shipton for an evening game doesn’t make sense.

“It is going nowhere. You just have to look at the declining entries. I cannot believe that we are playing a competition, that is supposedly our No 1 competition, in the evenings.

“I think the organisers should seriously look at it. It should be a Sunday competition. Bucks have done that and it has revitalised their competition.”

Evans believes the county competition should be run on the same lines as the national Cockspur Cup with 45 overs-a-side, starting at 1pm on Sundays, and bowlers restricted to nine overs apiece.

“It should be played with fielding restrictions for the first 15 overs to have a bit of fun,” he said.

“And I would even go for a white ball and coloured tops. We need to jazz it up – we have got to do something.”

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