Padiham land Sri Lankan ace Peiris as professional as skipper steps down

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Padiham Cricket Club have signed Sri Lankan Chathura Peiris as professional for the 2016 Ribblesdale League season.

Chathura, 25, is a left arm medium fast bowler and top order left hand batsman.

He currently plays First Class cricket for Ragama Cricket Club back home in Sri Lanka, and has captained his country in the Under 19 World Cup.

Chathura replaces Ben Heap, who has returned to the Lancashire League with former club Lowerhouse.

Padiham are seeking to return to the Ribblesdale League A Section after two years in the B Section, with Callum Clarke’s men losing out in a relegation/promotion play-off in September against Cherry Tree.

“The signing of Chathura Pieris is a superb signing for Padiham Cricket Club,” said Clarke, who has revealed that he’ll be stepping down as captain after three-and-a-half years in the role at the Arbories.

“Chathura is a proven First Class cricketer who has pedigree in England from various stints playing over here.

“He has represented his country at Under 19 level in the World Cup in which he was also the captain.

“I am looking forward to playing alongside such a talented cricketer and I hope he can be the difference for the club to once again push for promotion in 2016.”

Clarke added: “I’m stepping down as captain so I can focus my efforts on building the youth academy and so I can continue to develop as a senior player for the club. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the position and I believe we have come a long way.”