Bedhampton Mariners have suffered a huge blow on their return to Hampshire League division one cricket with a nasty injury to captain Dan Clark.
Experienced opening bat Clark worked hard all winter as his side prepared to make the step up.
Two days before the first league game, however, Clark suffered a broken finger in a T20 warm-up game.
He was forced to watch from the sidelines as the Mariners opened up with a defeat at Easton & Martyr Worthy.
Mariners are hoping to kick-start their campaign against Longparish at Bidbury Mead tomorrow.
‘It is so frustrating,’ said Clark.
‘I spent all winter getting ready and then suffered a clean break, snapping my finger right through.
‘It looks like I might need to have an operation and my summer could already be over.
‘If that happens then I will resort to coaching from the sidelines.’
Mariners were disappointed by their opening display in which their batting let them down.
They were bowled out cheaply for 130 runs and Clark accepted it was poor.
He added: ‘We lost the game rather than our opponents winning it.
‘Our batsmen let themselves down and too many gave their wickets away.
‘A number of our players can score runs quickly but they have to learn to build an innings. They cannot afford to give their wicket away cheaply.
‘It is crucial they learn to bat sensibly. You are never going to win cricket matches being reduced to 80 for four.’
To their credit the Bedhampton bowlers gave it a good go and captured seven home wickets.
Harry Robbins was the pick of the bowlers with a very tight 10-over spell.
Alex Gardner grabbed a couple of wickets despite only arriving back in the country from Houston earlier that morning.
Tasmanian Soc Nicholls also looked a useful medium paced swing bowler.
Gosport Borough are aiming for a second win as they visit Hook & Newnham Basics II.
Newly-promoted Emsworth entertain Redlynch & Hale in division two.
In division three South United Services Portsmouth open up their home campaign with a derby against Kerala at Burnaby Road.