Bats unveil coach, recruits

Simon Black is remaining on as captain. (Jacob Pattison)384237_04

Plenty Valley has announced Mihiraj Wasantha Jayasekara as coach of its Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association program, while locking in its leadership group and a number of recruits.

Jayasekara, who is known as Raj, played first class cricket in Sri Lanka before embarking on a very successful coaching career.

He is a level 3 accredited coach who has coached abroad in Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, India, UAE and Nepal.

Bats president Darren Callahan said that he has a wealth of cricket experience in elite environments and is a wonderful addition to the club, who will also play in the first XI.

Chris Milne has been appointed cricket general manager.

Daniel Heatley, James Plunkett and Javed Bolim have been reappointed as assistant coaches, with club legend Sean Ayres returning to the club in the role of assistant coach.

Simon Black will continue on as captain of the first XI.

Callahan also revealed the club had signed a number of recruits for the upcoming season.

He said the additions will strengthen the program and will complement the existing players in the youthful squad.

“Musaddiq Ali Hamza returns to the club after spending the past four seasons at Greenvale Kangaroos,” he said. “Musa is a gifted leg spinner bowler and middle order batsman.

“Chenutha Kavinda Wickramasinghe played first class cricket in Sri Lanka in 2019. Since then, Chen moved to Australia where he has played cricket in the VSDCA and DDCA [Dandenong District Cricket Association]. Chen is a powerful top order batsman and handy “part time” leg spinner.

“Sajana De Silva is good mates with Chen, sharing junior cricket experiences in Sri Lanka where they were both coached by Raj.

“Saj played List A cricket in Sri Lanka in 2019 before venturing to Australia. He has spent the last five seasons playing cricket in the ECA [Eastern Cricket Association]. Saj is a very talented right arm off spin bowler and aggressive middle order batsman.

“Lahiru Rashmika Opatha played one game of first class cricket in Sri Lanka in 2017 during this game he ruptured his ACL and was lost to the game for a few seasons. Since moving to Australia, Rash has been plying his trade in the MPCA [Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association] where he has played for the last five seasons. He is a very talented top order batsman and right arm off spin bowler.

“Nimesh Bhagya Kariyawasam Maddumage also played one game of first class cricket in Sri Lanka in 2017. Since moving to Australia, Nimesh has represented clubs in both the DDCA and VTCA [Victorian Turf Cricket Association]. He is an opening bowler.”