THE new cricket season is scheduled to begin this weekend and Dunfermline and Carnegie are targeting a double promotion.

The opening balls of the 2024 East of Scotland Cricket Association (ESCA) league campaign will be bowled on Saturday and Dejesh Deenadayalan says targets at McKane Park are set upon looking upwards.

Dunfermline and Carnegie's first XI will open their Division Two fixtures at home to Edinburgh Cricket Club's second XI, and the club's president is hoping it can herald the beginning of a challenge to reach Division One.

It will be a first campaign as head coach for South African off-spinner, Patrick Cooper, who was appointed last year, whilst they will be captained by his countryman, Daniel Styer.

He recently represented his homeland in the 2024 IMC (International Masters Cricket) Over-40s World Cup, which they won, beating New Zealand in the final, and the fast bowler could be a key player for Dunfermline and Carnegie in their upcoming campaign.

"It's looking promising for the first XI. There is a lot of optimism," Deenadayalan commented.

"We want to win the league and get promoted to Division One. That is our head coach's own ambition as well.

"Our twos are also looking a bit stronger. They are in Division Five, and looking for promotion as well, and John Parsonage will lead our thirds.

"All three teams are looking positive."

Wet weather, however, hampered preparations for the new season, with friendlies for the first XI, at Livingston, and for the second XI, against Glenrothes at McKane, postponed due to sodden grounds.

They did, however, head indoors for match practice at the weekend, with 16 players participating in an eight-a-side game, held between themselves, at the Michael Woods Sports Centre in Glenrothes.

The second XI open their Division Five fixtures at Livingston seconds, whilst the third XI, playing in Division Eight, will play against Tranent and Preston Village fifth XI at The Cairns in Charlestown.

Each of those fixtures take place on Saturday with a 1pm start.

Meanwhile, Broomhall Cricket Club will open their Strathmore and Perthshire Cricket Union, Division Two, season away to Strathmore second XI on Saturday.