THIS weekend's opening round of Northern League cricket fixtures have been postponed following the recent bad weather.

The Northern League announced its decision last night following consultation with its member clubs.

Netherfield had been due to play St Anne's while Kendal were away at reigning champions Morecambe.

The games have been rescheduled for next Saturday.

Last year's title was won by Morecambe Cricket Club, and the two Kendal-based sides in Division One will both be hoping to finish nearer the top of the pile than they managed last year.

Five-time Northern League winners Netherfield Cricket Club finished 8th last season, although they did enjoy cup wins in both the Cumbria Cup and the TWP Wealth Twenty/20 Cup.

New captain Ben Barrow insists preparations for the new campaign have been good, despite two pre-season matches being washed out at the weekend.

"We've gone well," said Barrow, "We've had a lot of indoor sessions and we've been outside in the last week.

"We just want to continue improving. We have lost some players but we've gained some really good ones as well.

"But we've got to get some consistency and put an end to the poor performances we've had and get a string of results together."

Among the incoming players are New Zealanders Tom Bruce and Daniel Ingham.

Barrow added: "Tom Bruce comes highly recommended, his first-class record shows he an exciting talent.

"He hits the ball hard and bowls a bit of off spin so we're hoping he scores some big runs for us.

"Daniel comes recommended by Tom. He bowls medium pace and will hope to get hold of the new ball.

"We are looking fairly strong with some very useful players. It is a youthful side so we will need to get the right players in the right order. We'll need to find some consistency and hammer down the way we want to play our cricket."

Netherfield, who scored more bonus points than other side last time around, start the new campaign with a game against St Annes.

Barrow added: "They have lost a few players and recruited a lot as well that we don't know very much about, so it should be an interesting game.

"I think it's just a case of laying down a marker – we've got a lot of competition for places so it's a case of the lads turning up and putting in a strong performance."

Kendal Cricket Club ended up just one position above bottom club Preston, in what was a disappointing season for the Shap Road side.

Club captain Chris Miller is hoping his side can improve on last year's showing.

"After last season I would like just to finish in the top six and we are more than capable of doing that.

"We have a very well balanced side for cup cricket. A good cup run and at least a top six finish would be a successful season from where we were last year, it would be a good progression."

Miller is happy with the way the Kendal squad is looking ahead of the season-opening game.

The club has signed South African Chris Ngoepe and Pakistani Saad Ali, who are both batsmen.

The new season will also see the return of Ryan Shepherd and Gary Baker from Burneside, as well as Nick Lewthwaite from Windermere.

Speaking about the two overseas players, Miller added: "They have both represented their countries at U19s cricket, both are batters and have pretty solid records. Hopefully they should score plenty of runs.

"We start off with Morecambe and we'll be hoping to get off to a good start against the champions and we hope to build up a bit of momentum from there."

* These interviews were conducted before the decision to postpone this weekend's fixtures