Camperdown Chronicle
Lakers gain Sri Lankan influence

CAMPERDOWN Cricket Club is hoping an international arrival can help them take the next step in South West Cricket’s division one competition.

The Lakers this week unveiled import Shaluka Silva, a left-handed middle order bat and left arm orthodox bowler with first class experience from Sri Lanka.

The 24 year-old is set to embark on his maiden Aussie summer and said “it’s good to be in Camperdown to play for the Lakers this time around.”

He said he was looking forward to playing in a competitive league and helping push the Lakers back into finals contention after they finished fifth last season.

“I just hope to play good cricket and share my experience and everything (on the field) and beyond the boundary too with the guys,” he said.

“I just hope to make (help) the Lakers into the final this time around, this is one of the main targets I want to achieve this summer.

“I felt that this is a good league and they are playing in division one but I just wanted to play competitive cricket..

“That’s why I chose Camperdown and Jordan (Riches) and (Steve) Fisher the coach, they’ve been patient with me and gave me the idea (of coming over) so I just want to be here and I want to continue my cricket here.”

Silva comes to Camperdown with a glittering cricket CV, having been a promising school and underage cricketer in his homeland.

He eventually graduated to first class level joining Bloomfield Cricket Club, the same club where Pomborneit’s Lahiru Fernando plays, but spent two years unable to crack the first XI before he decided to transfer to Colombo Cricket Club.

At Colombo, he finally made his first class debut against Nondescripts in 2016 and his List A debut in 2017, playing a handful of games in both formats before he returned to Bloomfield in 2018.

At Bloomfield, he again played more first-class and List A cricket, while he made his Twenty20 debut this year before he decided to come to Australia and play for the Lakers.

Silva said he was hoping to use his first class experience to help his new team-mates improve as cricketers during his stint at Camperdown.

He said he also wanted to enjoy the off-field aspect of his new team, admitting “it’s going to be a very good experience for my life”.

“I just want to bring my first class experience and just get the guys up to a good level (of cricket) because we want to achieve something this time around,” Silva said.

“I just prefer to do everything (I can) and give my everything to the cricket and share all my experience with them.

“I’m having a good time so far in Australia and all the boys are very good at the cricket club, there are a lot of good people here.

“It’s nice to come to here. I think it’s not a bad decision, it’s one of the good decisions of my life, so hopefully we can be good friends and be a good cricket team throughout the year.”

President Jordan Riches said the club was thrilled to have Silva on board and revealed he was set to be joined by another Sri Lankan Kasun Niranjana, in the coming weeks.

He said the pair would strengthen the Lakers’ line-up, particularly in areas they felt they were lacking depth in.

“We were a couple of quality players last year off the top four, so hopefully these two can push us into the finals,” he said.

“Shaluka’s going to fit in very well, he’s a very good player and we also have another one coming, Kasun Niranjana, he’s a wicketkeeper-opening batter.

“Shaluka is an unreal player, he’s a very good spinner, he has a lot of experience and he is a very good left-hand bat too.

“They kind of fill the spots we need. We needed an opening bat and we needed a keeper too since we lost Lucas and with Shaluka being a spinner and middle-order bat it’s going to fill the spots we needed to fill.”

Riches said the Lakers were looking forward to unleashing Silva in tomorrow’s clash with Pomborneit.

“We have had two sessions with him and we already know how good he is,” he said.

“So we just want to show the league how good he is and see how it goes from there.”