St Ives & Warboys excited to take on challenges of a full season again

St Ives & Warboys Cricket Club celebrate

St Ives & Warboys Cricket Club celebrate their victory over Histon in the 2020 Cambs & Hunts Premier League Division One play-off final. - Credit: ST IVES & WARBOYS CC

St Ives & Warboys Cricket Club are raring to go as they look to make a real impression in Division One of the Cambs & Hunts Premier League. 

The first-team open their year on Saturday with a friendly at home to Sawston & Babraham while the league season begins on April 24 back at One Leisure with Foxton the visitors. 

They will once again by skippered by Jack Haycock, his fourth year in charge, and he is confident of success despite acknowledging the toughness of the challenge. 

St Ives & Warboys Cricket Club in action

St Ives & Warboys on their way to victory over Histon in the Cambs & Hunts Premier League play-off final. Picture: - Credit: SIMON COOPER

He said: "We're looking to consolidate and push for a top-three finish but we realise maintaining the high-performance levels we produced in the shortened season [last year] will be a challenge across a full 18-game season, especially with clubs like Eaton Socon, Histon & Wisbech strengthening." 

They will go into the campaign without an overseas player, their hoped-for South African falling foul of the COVID-19 restrictions but that is where the home-grown youngsters come in. 

St Ives & Warboys Cricket Club team shot 2020

St Ives & Warboys Cricket Club's line-up in 2020 will be pretty much the same in 2021. - Credit: ST IVES & WARBOYS CC

Haycock said: "We have the same squad available to us this year and with our young core of 16 to 25-year-olds having an extra year of experience, we are quietly confident of success again. 

"I'm looking two of our young players, Matt Wells and Jack Ranganathan, to be our star men as they continue to push for county opportunities and representation." 

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Elsewhere in the club Jake Moore will captain the second team, PJ Malem the thirds and Mike Farmer in charge of the fours. 

The seconds have a friendly with Newmarket Town on April 17 with their first CHPL Division Two North game at Over on May 8. 

The thirds start at home to Wimblington on May 1 with the fourths playing Wilburton at home on the same day. 

Off the field there has been heavy investment in the ground and facilities with new sight screens, pitch roller and covers purchased. 

There will also be a new look with all members provided with new playing tops as part of the new sponsorship with What's the Buzz Magazine and SM Cricket.