Ickleford will be looking to put a disappointing campaign behind them as the 2022 Herts Cricket League season begins to loom large - and they will have the continued support of one of their most loyal backers.

The 2021 season ended with both first and second teams suffering relegation but despite that, the Walnut Way-based cricket club will head into the new year delighted with the support for a 37th consecutive year of Bowman Ingredients.

The Ickleford company, established in 1857, will sponsor the club's cricket balls once again for both the senior and the thriving junior sections.

Their support has allowed the club to develop from just two sides to one with four Saturday and one Sunday senior teams and four junior squads.

Bowman have also helped towards the cost of new machinery and renovation of the practice nets.

Ickleford secretary Roy Izzard said: "Without the tremendous financial backing from Bowman, we would not have been able to improve our facilities to their current high level.

"The partnership all started when I made a tentative phone call to the company in 1986 hoping for some sponsorship but without any real expectation.

"Every year since I have made one phone call and the sponsorship has been renewed straight away and we are extremely grateful to CEO Alex Masih."

Masih added: "Just as we have progressed as a company, we are pleased to be supporting Ickleford Cricket Club who are delivering such a vibrant youth programme for girls and boys in the area."

On the pitch there will be a new captain for the first and second teams.

Luke Marsden has returned to take charge of the ones, with Charlie Jupp his vice captain, and it is a source of pride that both players have progressed through the club's junior section.

The seconds will be led by Richard Peareth, with Adam Ross his vice, while the third and fourth teams will again be skippered by Mark Howard and Ian Cheesman.

Ickleford will again run a Sunday side that will play friendlies while the junior section continues to go from strength to strength and will run teams in the U9, U10, U11 and U14 age groups.

The club are always looking for new players though, for both the junior and senior sections.

Juniors should ring Scott Dalrymple on 07890 276685 while seniors should call Roy Izzard on 07803 202498.