CONRAD SUTCLIFFE REPORTING
NORTH Devon have signed Sri Lankan all-rounder Roshan Lakmal for their attempt to bounce straight back into the Tolchards DCL Premier Division this summer.
The Instow outfit only won four games in the 2023 and finished bottom of the Premier Division table, which meant a return to A Division cricket for the first time since 2005.
North Devon’s cause in 2023 was not helped by the departure of first-pick overseas player Shantanu Mishra after seven games – top score 28 in the DCL – then replacing him with Abhishek Batra a couple of weeks later.
Numerous other clubs – Heathcoat, Exmouth, Sidmouth and Cornwood among them in the Premier Division – suffered similar overseas player issues last summer.
Jack Moore, the North Devon skipper, has already confirmed that Lakmal will be staying in the Sandhills for the full season.
Lakmal, who was 35 in January, bats up the order and bowls slow left-arm orthodox finger spin. He has had a varied career at home and also playing Grade cricket in Australia.
Currently, Lakmal is playing in all three formats of the professional game for Panadura. He has a First-Class century in the scorebook as well as three five-wicket hauls.
Moore, who has taken over from Tom Popham as first-team skipper at Instow, sees Lakmal as an asset with bat and ball.
“Roshan bowls left-arm finger spin so we now have two of that type as James Tyson bowls the same,” said Moore.
“He is a versatile batsman and will be able to bat anywhere in the top five.”
Last time out in white-ball cricket just a few weeks ago, Lakmal was deployed as a pinch-hitting opener.
Lakmal made his First Class debut in Sri Lankan domestic cricket back in 2009 and played for three seasons before heading to the Grade scene in Australia.
During six seasons with Mackie CC in the Melbourne SECA competition, Lakmal made 2,178 runs at 32.51 and took 145 wickets at a fraction more than 20 runs each.
Lakmal has been a consistent run-getter over two seasons back in to Sri Lanka, where he is averaging more than 40 in First-Class cricket.