BIG improvements are in the pipeline on and off the field as Helensburgh Cricket Club prepares for the start of its new season.

With eight weeks until the club's first fixture of 2018, the club has carried out improvements at its ground at Ardencaple - and the club has also welcomed two new sponsors into the fold.

Club chairman Graeme Lang said: “I am delighted to announce some new key sponsors for the forthcoming season in the shape of Shearwater Marine Services and Hart Insurance, as well as long standing supporters Babcock Marine, The Inn at Inverbeg and junior sponsor Equity and Finance.

“Their support is invaluable and means that the club is in a sound financial position going into the business part of the year.

"The new all-weather wicket will be laid ahead of the season.

“This major facility addition comes through a partnership with the Royal Navy and will provide a state-of-the-art playing surface which will benefit seniors and juniors alike.

“Added to this the club has been able to procure some new grounds machinery and additional sightscreens ahead of the season which means that the ground and off-field aspects of the club are in excellent shape.”

On the field, Ian Chambers and Alex Todd will be captaining the first and second team respectively.

Ian has been delighted with the team’s pre-season progress.

He said: “Everyone can’t wait for the season to start. We have some real quality to the squad and I am really optimistic about our prospects this season.”

Alex added: “This season is a great chance for the latest batch of juniors to become the core of the second XI this year with a view to progressing to the first XI very soon.”

Matt Stocks has taken on Sunday captaincy for 2017 and the usual friendlies are stacking up to ensure there is something for everyone to get involved with.

The club welcomes players, male and female, of all standards. Senior training is on Thursday nights at Lomond Gym at 7.30pm until the clocks change, after which it will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm. Junior training is at the same venue on Friday nights at 6.30pm.

All are welcome to both groups.