They make their County 1 bow at Albany Road, against an Alton second team relegated from the Southern Premier League last August, writes Mike Vimpany.
Bishop’s won 12 of their 16 matches last summer and, after the flying start they made, were favourites for the CD2 title at the midway point.
But, having fought a battle royale with eventual champions United Services and Petersfield, they eventually finished 14 points off the silverware.
Optimism is high in the Bishops Waltham camp that Dan Wheeler’s side will equip themselves well in their new surroundings – County 1 being proliferated by ten 2nd XI sides of Premier League clubs.
Phil Baldock, with 737 runs, will be there again this season, as will Wheeler himself, having taken 31 wickets in last season’s promotion campaign.
Bishop’s will be strengthened by at least four new arrivals, two of them having returned to the club.
All-rounder James Redding was at BW while studying at Portsmouth University and returns to the fold after a spell with Northamptonshire club East Haddon.
Ironically, spinner Robbie Pitts-Mellan was with Alton II last season, but with A-levels looming at Peter Symonds College, will play locally.
The arrival of Haider Khan will shortly be complemented by the arrival, from Hong Kong, of 22-year old leg-spin all-rounder Sunny Bhimsaria, who has represented his country at Under-19 level.
The club has introduced a fourth team in Regional 4 South East - to be used mainly as a development squad offering league cricket to colts and colts to step up from under-15 and school cricket.