THIS may be a new club cricket season with a new format and a new structure and name, but there will be nothing new about whom all the teams will be chasing.
Mecer NMMU1 will once again be the side to beat this season in a brand new premier league which gets under way this weekend.
Maritime Motors Old Grey will also fancy their chances again, as will SA Home Loans Union and PECC. Those four sides made up the top four last season and they are likely to feature somewhere around that bracket again this season, with a young side like Gelvandale perhaps looking for an improved showing on least season.
NMMU1 open their campaign with what, on the face of it, looks to be a straightforward assignment against ADT Pirates at VP Sports Club. But the home side have been hard at work over the off-season and will be determined to put up a good showing.
NMMU will be missing a number of what will be their regulars because of provincial commitments, but will no doubt still field a powerful unit.
Old Grey, meanwhile, host United Brothers at Freeplay Park in their first match. Old Grey will be favoured to win this one comfortably.
There could be some needle in the match between Union and Greenbushes in St George's Park following opener Bradley Holtzhausen's and all-rounder Kelvin Hooke's move to Union from the opposition.
Union have the bulk of their team from last season remaining and should be a force.
PECC start with a double-header at home. They play Buco Uitenhage tomorrow and Heatherbank on Sunday and will be looking to get off to a fast start.
Uitenhage travel to Grahamstown on Sunday to face Rhodes, who in turn come to the metro tomorrow to take on Welcome. The decision by EP Cricket to do away with Super A and Super B leagues and form one premier league will be welcomed.
The size of the league has also been reduced from 20 teams to 16 with the long-term goal being to relegate two teams for each of the next two seasons until the optimum size of 12 clubs is reached.
This weekend's fixtures are (home teams first, 10am start):
Tomorrow: ADT Pirates v Mecer NMMU1, Welcome v Rhodes, Maritime Motors Old Grey v United Brothers, Mecer NMMU2 v Motherwell, SA Home Loans Union v Greenbushes, Heatherbank v Gelvandale, Despatch v Northville, PECC v Buco Uitenhage
Sunday: PECC v Heatherbank, Rhodes v Uitenhage