Shipton-under-Wychwood skipper Simon Hole is hoping that a good blend of youth and experience can help them to a top-four finish on their return to Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League Division 2.

It follows last season’s promotion from Cherwell League Division 1, where they finished runners-up to champions Horspath.

Shipton have made a number of signings, headed by Indian all-rounder Anupam Sankalecha, who has been recruited from Maharashtra.

The club have recruited wicket-keeper/batsman Jeremy Kirby (Langford CC), batsman Ruairi Willis (St Edwards School), bowler Valentin Guiraud (Burford School), Andrew Hemming (from Chadlington), while Steven Carvey has decided to come out of retirement.

Their only departure is Tomas King, who has joined Cherwell League side Oxford Downs.

“A consolidating mid-table finish would be satisfactory in our first season back in the HCPL,” said Hole.

“We have a good blend of youth and experience in our squad, with enough ability to be capable of beating anybody on our day.

“A top-four finish would be a great achievement.”

Meanwhile, Hole has urged Joe Barrett to keep up his progress after making his Minor Counties debut for Oxfordshire last year and start producing the goods for Shipton on a more regular basis.

He said fellow youngster Sasha Barrass could follow the same path as Barrett.

Hole added: “He is one of the best young spinners around.

“A good season will see him push for Minor County honours in the not too distant future.”

Great & Little Tew captain Andy Harris says the club will look to the talents of former Penrith all-rounder Matthew Clark as they look to improve on the sixth-place finish they enjoyed on their Division 2 debut last season.

They will also look to talented teenagers batsman Jordan Garrett and 18-year-old left-arm seamer Lawrence Brock to maintain their progress.

Garrett, 14, hit a half-century on his Second XI Championship debut for Gloucestershire 2nd against Surrey 2nd at Bristol.

He made exactly 50 off 110 balls, with eight fours, batting at No 5 against a Surrey attack which included experienced seamer Tim Linley.

Harris said they were looking to Brock to hold down a place in the team as the replacement for seamer Liam Manley, who has joined Division 1 side Banbury.