The England & Wales Cricket Board have thrown the freezing local recreational cricket scene a shaft of summer sunshine by announcing the draw for the opening rounds of this season's national club championship.
But with the first round scheduled in three month's time on Sunday April 14, volunteer groundstaff will be concerned about getting pitches playable in time.
Old Tauntonians & Romsey and Gosport Borough, runners-up in Southern Premier Division 2 and 3 respectively last season, are due to go head-to-head at the Romsey Sports Centre, while competition debutants Fareham & Crofton head deep into Wiltshire for a visit to West of England Premier Division 2 outfit Royal Wootton Bassett.
Premier Division 2 winners Waterlooville face a stiff task at Slough-based Stoke Green, who won the 2023 Thames Valley League title and will play in the Home Counties Premier League this year. Calmore beat Stoke Green on their way to winning the Village Cup in 2022.
If Hampshire League winners Ferndown Wayfarers repeat last year's shock - they dumped out WEPL outfit Warminster - they will visit St Cross Symondians in round two.
A host of Premier Division clubs enter at the second round phase, with Bashley (Rydal) going to West of England Premier Division new boys Burbage & Easton Royal, Portsmouth hosting Middleton and Havant probably entertaining Uxbridge.
Southern Premier League champions Burridge and 2023 runners-up South Wilts get byes into round three.
First round (April 14): Ferndown Wayfarers v Corsham, Odiham & Greywell v Berkhampstead, Old Tauntonians & Romsey v Gosport Borough, Royal Wootton Bassett v Fareham & Crofton, Stoke Green v Waterlooville.
Second round (April 28): Basingstoke & North Hants v Royal Wootton Bassett or Fareham & Crofton, Burbage & Easton Royal v Bashley (Rydal), Havant v Shinfield or Uxbridge, Lansdown v Old Tauntonians & Romsey or Gosport Borough, Normandy v Stoke Green or Waterlooville, Portsmouth v Middleton, St Cross Symondians v Ferndown Wayfarers or Corsham. Byes: Burridge and South Wilts.