BERKSHIRE open their defence of the Unicorns Trophy when they play Cornwall at The Oratory School, Woodcote, on Sunday (11am).

Unlike previous seasons when there were four group games, this 50/50 competition is now a straight-forward knock-out event.

Berkshire will be forced to make a number of changes to the team which defeated Lincolnshire in the final at Wormsley last August.

Waqas Hussain is still recovering from his serious facial injuries he suffered during a freak training accident last month, while fellow opening bat Ollie Wilkin is taking a break from cricket.

In their absence, Andy Rishton and Chris Peploe are set to open the innings, as they had in Berkshire’s four T20 games two weeks ago which saw them win three times.

Jack Davies, who was man of the match when Berkshire retained the Unicorns Championship title by beating Lincolnshire at Banbury with an unbeaten century, could also miss out due to other commitments and Ethan Bamber may be required by Middlesex.

Finchampstead skipper Dan Lincoln, who has made an excellent start to the season, will play, while the Berkshire squad could also include Wokingham youngsters Sheriyar Ahmed and Jack Winterbottom.

Berkshire are using The Oratory for the first time, the picturesque ground being situated just outside of Caversham on the A4074 road to Oxford.

  • BERKSHIRE 2nds comfortably beat Herefordshire 2nds in their two T20s at Eastnor CC on Sunday.

Spinners Ali Raja (4-5) and Ollie Birts (3-4) helped skittle the hosts for 94 in game one, and Greg Smith’s 33 eased the Stags home with 32 balls to spare.

Smith top scored as Berkshire then made 161, and with Raja again in form, Herefordshire were restricted to 112-9.