Geeth Kumara, who spent 10 years as professional with Keswick in the Cumbria League’s Premier Division has joined Colne for 2022.
The Lancashire League side have announced the signing of the Sri Lankan who took 245 wickets for Keswick and averaged over 60 with the bat over his 10 seasons at the club.
Kumara had told Keswick that he was leaving the Fitz Park club prior to the final game of the season, but was considering a number of offers from clubs in Lancashire.
Colne have now revealed their new pro for2022and Kumara’s appointment has brought a number of good luck messages from his former Keswick team-mates.
One said “a real player” and another told the Colne members “you’ve signed the best pro around.”
In the 2021 season Kumara finished second in the Premier Division averages with 837 runs, five fifties, a top score of 105 and an average of 76.09.He also took 32 wickets at a cost of 14.50 each.
He has had experience of the Lancashire League as sub professional, for Bacup in 2013 and for Darwen last season.
It’s going to be a tough ask fo rKumara as Colne find themselves back in Division Two after being relegated. They had gone up in 2019 as Second Division champions.
They only collected their first win in the penultimate match of the season at Middleton with professional Paras Dogra helping seal a six wicket win.
Dogra only played in nine games, hitting five half centuries in making 418 runs at an average of 52.3and the club had to use eight sub-professionals. Skipper Matt Walker also stood down at the end of July.
Tom Bradshaw took over as captain and said: “The standard of the league seems to get higher every season and it is fantastic to see so many good local amateurs wanting to turn to the Lancashire League to ply their trade along with so many top quality pros throughout the league which we as a league are constantly able to attract.
“On a whole, 2021 has been an extremely tough year for Colne CC. We had issues from day one with our original signing, a Sri Lankan agreed in the winter who sadly gave backword on coming.
“This was then followed by having issues getting Paras Dogra over due to COVID in India. Whilst we awaited Paras’ arrival, we had bad luck with some of our 1st XI squad players seemingly making themselves unavailable for various reasons and sub pros – who very rarely contributed the way we needed them to for the first 12 games of the season.
“This made the task of survival even harder than we knew it already was going to be but I do believe 2022 will be a better season for Colne Cricket Club.
“Our aim will be to challenge for the league in the same way as we did in 2019 but we will be under no illusions of how strong the league is now.”