Sri Lankan star to roar for Bears
BALLINA Bears' Far North Coast LJ Hooker League cricket team's Sri Lankan import Janeth De Silva could easily be confused with Byron Bay spin king Jeewan De Silva.
The pair played against each other in Sri Lanka and even played in the same team in the Western Australian Suburban Perth Cricket Association competition in the 2008-2009 season.
The off-spinners aren't brothers, or even related, but it was a strong recommendation from Jeewan that helped get Janeth to Ballina.
"Jeewan made contact with the Ballina club 12 months ago and that had a lot to do with me coming out here," Janeth De Silva said.
"We are good friends and I'm trying to gain as much experience as I can," he said.
"As soon as I left Western Australia I was keen to get back out here (Australia)."
Janeth was solid on debut for the Bears, taking 2-37 from his 13 overs against defending premiers the Casino Cavaliers in a two-day match at Queen Elizabeth Park, Casino, at the weekend.
Club captain Shane Jacobs was impressed with the 24-year-old's performance.
"He came in when they (Casino) were on top and he really took it to them," Jacobs said.
"Unfortunately he cramped up a bit after the tea break and didn't bowl any more overs.
"It's a shame because he really could have caused some damage to their tail end."
De Silva believes the cramps were only a minor setback as he acclimatises to the FNC conditions.
"The pitches are slower and it's completely different to the subcontinent," he said.
"I was happy with the swing and bounce of the ball and I feel like the club is really behind me.
"I look forward to batting this weekend.
"I'm not sure what number I'll come in at."
De Silva could get his chance when the Bears resume at 0-8, chasing Casino's first innings total of 215.