Prolific Pradeep agrees to return as Salesbury pro

Salesbury Under 15s, champions of the Lancashire League Under 15s Second Division
Salesbury Under 15s, champions of the Lancashire League Under 15s Second Division

Salesbury have confirmed prolific batsman Susantha Pradeep will return as professional for the 2014 Ribblesdale League season.

The Sri Lankan ace has hit 1,107 runs in the league this season, at an average of 61.5, with six half centuries and three tons, and he now has 2,907 in total for the club after three years at Ribchester Road.

He also has 67 wickets at an average of 17.27, to take him to 163 for the club, at 19.51.

And that good news adds to the success story at the club this season.

Much of their success is thanks to the young players at the club.

The Under 18 side won the Birchall Under 18s Twenty20 Cup, which has now been followed by the Under 15s, who have become champions of the Lancashire League Under 15s Second Division, losing only one of their 10 matches – and that on the last ball.

At Ramsbottom’s Acre Bottom Ground last week they didn’t need the last eight overs, never mind the last ball!

Chasing a respectable 18-over total of 93, the runs were knocked off in nine overs and three balls. As coach John Winkley said, “It was an excellent win and a good way to finish off the season in style.

“There have been many fine individual performances through the season but this has been a squad effort with regular contributions from all players including those drafted in from the Under 13 squad.”

The first team is enjoying its best season in the Ribblesdale Senior League, as well as being crowned champions of the Watson Ramsbottom Solicitors T20 competition.

With the second and third teams also holding their own in the First and Third divisions respectively, the club’s policy of playing promising younger players in the senior teams has proved a success.

Meanwhile, the club’s Under 9 squad swept all before them, winning every match in their Ribblesdale Junior League competition.

Andrew Green, Chairman of Salesbury CC said: “The club is moving forward thanks in no small way to the coaching of our youngsters, the encouragement they receive and the fact we as a club are prepared and will continue to play young players in senior cricket. If they know they will be given a chance, it is a reason to keep playing. Long may we continue to field probably the youngest average age teams in the leagues.”

Pradeep, after signing up for 2014, is contracted to hold at least three training sessions with each age group during the season.

Salesbury had a difficult Bank Holiday weekend, however, losing by six wickets to Padiham on Saturday, after Steve Meehan took 5-49 to help bowl them out for 96.

The following day, Settle won by 41 runs, bowling Salesbury out for 141, with Tanwir Afzal claiming 6-42, after making 182-9, with Aneeq Hassan hitting 54.