Richmondshire Cricket Club have announced the signing of Sri Lankan professional Nimesh Vimukthi.
The club says Nimesh, 22, is an exceptional all-round prospect playing for Chilaw Marians Cricket Club in Sri Lanka’s top tier domestic competitions.
Last summer, he joined the Tier A club after an outstanding season for Police Sports Club in 2017/18.
The left-arm spin bowling all-rounder finished as the third leading wicket-taker (50 wickets at 19.60) alongside 288 runs at an average of 24 in Sri Lanka’s Tier B Premier League Tournament.
In the top flight for Chilaw Marians, Vimukthi excelled, striking his maiden first-class century (120) amongst a first-class tally of 543 runs at 36.20 alongside 31 wickets at 25.61.
He first came to Richmondshire’s attention while playing for Bishop Auckland in 2018, where he took 55 wickets at 11.71, alongside 677 runs at 29.43 in the North Yorkshire and South Durham League and Cup competitions.
The club subsequently re-signed him, but unfortunately, due to relegation, the contract became null and void.
This resulted in a move to Durham Cricket League side Philadelphia CC who swooped in for the Sri Lankan star for their 2019 campaign.
Vimukthi helped the side to promotion courtesy of 886 runs at 32.81 and 72 wickets at 10.54 in all cricket for the club.
Gary Pratt, Richmondshire’s long-serving English professional, remains with the club but is standing down as captain, to be replaced by his opening partner Bob Carr.
Bob said: “We are delighted with the signing of Nimesh who impressed our whole team when we played against him two seasons ago for Bishop Auckland.
“Since then he’s added to his outstanding first class record and we’re excited for him to arrive and help us try to retain the league title.”
He is seen as an ideal successor to Richmondshire’s spinning all-rounders.
Following on from Matthew McKiernan who was instrumental in the club’s National Club Championship win in 2018, before being awarded a county contract with Derbyshire.
South African Steve Reeves then took over the role for the 2019 NYSD Premiership winning team.
It was originally anticipated that Steve would continue as professional but having secured his UK residency he has decided to take up the opportunity of joining the MCC Young Cricketers Programme and is moving to live with family in London.
Club chairman Mark Layfield said: “The club is excited to have signed such a talented young player and in addition to what Nimesh brings on the field, he is a qualified level two coach who will work on the development of the outstanding junior talent we have in the club.”