Rising star will cover for delayed Fernando

SUDBURY Cricket Club captain Darren Batch is hoping their decision to cover Sri Lankan capped Hasantha Fernando’s late arrival with a temporary overseas players will pay dividends.

Batch is keen for his captaincy at the club’s highest ever standard, in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League (EAPL), to get off to a flying start.

Therefore the club did not want to begin the campaign without an overseas player, with Fernando’s Sri Lankan season held up by the Cricket World Cup, so fellow countryman Nisham Mazahir will play the first three games of the campaign.

Mazahir, 22, has been capped at youth level for his country and played in a handful of first-class cricket matches.

Batch said: “It is cover for the first three league games while Hasantha is finishing his season in Sri Lanka.

“We thought we had better get someone to cover his role.”

Mazahir is a batting all-rounder who is currently studying in the UK and is on the books of the same agent who brokered Fenando’s transfer to Sudbury.

The Talbots clinched an historic promotion to the EAPL last season after pipping Coggeshall to the Two Counties Championship. And Batch has revealed the Essex side will be the ones Sudbury use to test themselves, in a friendly on April 16.

The Sudbury squad have continued running together and playing six-a-side football in a bid to maintain their fitness in the off season, and returned to indoor nets in mid-February.

Their training will step up another notch on April 12, when they move to outdoor nets ahead of a mouth-watering opener at the higher level against local rivals Halstead at Friars Street on April 23.