Melton Mowbray CC have been one of the borough’s success stories in recent seasons and will hope to continue their upward trajectory in a new division.
After a tough period, the First XI, and club in general, has gradually rebuilt and celebrated three promotions in the last four years, jumping up from Division Six in 2011, and rising to Division Three for 2015.
It will be the first time in nine years Melton have played this high up the county league ranks.
Last year’s local derby was against Thorpe Arnold’s Second XI, but this year Melton can look forward to two mouthwatering crosstown derbies with Egerton Park.
The Firsts will again be led by Pete Humphries who hopes to add to his squad before the first ball is bowled at Illston Abbey on Saturday (1pm).
Melton’s Second XI has hovered around Divisions Seven and Eight for the same period, but this year’s team has a slightly younger average age as some of the club’s juniors make the step up.
They open the season at home to Bharat at the All England Sports Ground (1pm).
Off the field, the All England Sports Ground has had additional upgrades including a new scoreboard and scorer’s booth next to the clubhouse.
There is also an additional fixed net to improve training and a replacement sightscreen.