International affair at LDCA
IMPORTED cricketers are becoming a common occurrence in the Leongatha and District Cricket Association, much to the delight of fellow players.
Cricketers from all over the globe can be seen on the field at your average LDCA A Grade match.
Sri Lankan Udura Weerasinghe hits big and bowls true for the Korumburra Cobras, while his brother Madura Weerasinghe Silva and fellow Sri Lankan Amila Ratnayake are vital inclusions for Leongatha Town.
Out at OMK Englishman Daniel Lloyd graces the pitch while his countryman Steve Copple takes to the crease for Glen Alvie.
Not to mention Indian VRS Guru Kedarnath who plays for Fish Creek Tarwin and was paramount in the LDCA GCL grand final victory recently.
Association president Russell Matthews is happy to have the imports on the field.
“It’s good for the association, definitely good,” he said.
“We’d certainly welcome more to the association.”
Most players come over through various agents who match players with clubs searching for imports.
A lot of clubs then provide the player with a vehicle, some part time work if they have a work visa, and then find them accommodation.
Over the past few years imported players have filled in the gaps in our representative teams.
“They do well in representative cricket usually,” Matthews said.
“We don’t like to play too many in GCL but it’s good to have a few to top them off.”
A good example of an import thriving at a representative level is VRS Guru Kedarnath, bowling 5/11 in the GCL grand final recently.
Kedarnath loved the GCL experience.
“It was brilliant, I never saw it coming, it was a great experience,” he said.
“They were a great bunch of people and it was good quality cricket as well, great exposure, and just great cricket.”
This summer is the Indian’s first time in Australia.
“I just got the opportunity to play here and thought, why not take it and explore some new avenues,” Kedarnath said.
When asked if he picked South Gippsland he said: “It just happened, I love it and so far it’s been really good.
“I’m enjoying every moment of it really, no doubt about it.”
The off spin bowler played professionally in southern India before taking the opportunity to play here.
“The cricket is completely different here, a different structure and everything,” Kedarnath said.
“Here we play on Saturdays only, while over there it happens during the week as well.
“It’s good in a way over here because it’s more of a social thing, and it’s good because work and cricket balance.”
One of the returning Sri Lankan imports is Korumburra’s Udura Weerasinghe who is playing his fifth season with the Cobras.
After playing First Class Sri Lankan cricket Weerasinghe came to Australia to try something different and found Korumburra.
“The club was advertising for a player coach position so I applied and got the job,” he said.
“It is a much more social game here than playing first class cricket in Sri Lanka.”
The all-rounder is hoping that his time at Korumburra will influence the club for the better.
“I hope that things I have brought to the club and my experience will help the team with their cricket and teach them some new things.”
Weerasinghe is applying for residency in Australia as he includes a winter season in Darwin in his calendar.
The results of his and his wife’s residency application will determine whether he returns to the Cobras next summer.
“I have really enjoyed my time here in the LDCA and with all the different facets of the game I have been involved with here.”
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