Dilshan signs for Derbyshire

Derbyshire add Sri Lanka star Dilshan for 2015

Experienced Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan will be wearing Samurai cricket kit this summer after agreeing a deal with Derbyshire for two spells with the Club during the 2015 season.

The top order batsman will take over the overseas berth from New Zealand international Martin Guptill and be available for up to four NatWest T20 Blast fixtures and two LV= County Championship matches in June, before leaving for the Caribbean Premier League.

He will return at the beginning of August for the remainder of the season and be available to play in every Derbyshire match in August and September as the county look for a strong finish to the 2015 campaign in all three competitions.

Dilshan is a vastly experienced international who has competed in 87 Tests for Sri Lanka, scoring 5,492 runs at an average of 40.98 and a high score of 193.

His ODI record is equally impressive hitting 9,796 runs in 312 matches, at an average of 39.82 and a highest score of 161 not out.

In the shortest format of the game, the 38-year-old has featured in 232 matches hitting over 5,000 runs and with a top score of 104 not out off 57 balls coming against Australia in 2011. He was also a key member of the Sri Lanka team that won the 2014 ICC World Twenty20.

Dilshan said: “Derbyshire are an ambitious Club with an exciting young team and I’m looking forward to joining them in the NatWest T20 Blast and then returning to help them finish the season strongly. I am really pleased with my current form and this makes me confident I can make a strong contribution to Derbyshire this season.”

Elite Performance Director, Graeme Welch added: “Dilshan is a proven match winner who has shown this time and time again on the world stage. His record speaks for itself and he brings a wealth of experience across all formats and to the dressing room. He is also committed to helping our younger lads during his stay.

“His signing is a real coup for the Club and demonstrates our growing reputation within the game across all formats and our determination to progress in the NatWest T20 Blast competition.”

Article and image courtesy of Derbyshire County Cricket Club

Kent Cricket

Pre-order your limited edition NatWest T20 Blast shirt

The Kent Spitfires will play in a limited edition Samurai Sportswear shirt in the 2015 NatWest T20 Blast to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Featuring an eye-catching sublimated design with the iconic Spitfire, each sale of the shirt will include donations to the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust. On top of this, every order will be entered into a draw to win the first Battle of Britain Spitfires shirt, signed by a Kent Cricket star before it goes on sale in April.

Sponsors Shepherd Neame have kindly agreed to give up their usual collar logo on to display the name of the charity, based in Capel-le-Ferne near Folkestone.

To purchase your shirt and support the cause, head to the Kent Cricket Online Shop or visit the Kent Cricket Merchandise Store at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence (open 9:00am – 5:00pm on weekdays).

Kent Matt Coles

Matt Coles makes Canterbury return

Kent Cricket has re-signed 24-year-old all-rounder Matt Coles after the Maidstone-born player was released by Hampshire last week. Coles returns to Canterbury and will bolsters Kent’s options for the new season.

A Kent Cricket Academy graduate, he made his first-class debut aged 19 in 2009 after coming through the age group squads and received his county cap in 2012, when he was also called up for England Lions. He left Kent in August 2013 to join Hampshire on a three-year deal.

On his return, Coles said: “I am delighted to be back at Kent. I am looking forward to joining a talented group of lads and making a real go of my second spell here. To come through the age groups to play for your home county was a dream come true. I can’t wait to get started and rekindle my love for the Club.”

Kent captain Rob Key said: “Matt is a cricketer with undoubted potential with both bat and ball. It’s fantastic that he has returned to the county that brought him up through the youth system.”

We are delighted to see Matt back in Samurai cricket kit again, and wish him the best of luck for the summer ahead.


Exeter move to second place in the Aviva Premiership

A ten try, 74-19 demolition of London Welsh at Sandy Park has propelled Samurai side Exeter Chiefs to second place in the Aviva Premiership over the weekend.

The team’s eleventh win of the season included tries to Thomas Waldrom (2), Will Chudley, Tom James, Jack Yeandle, Matt Jess, Henry Slade and Ian Whitten, whilst the brute force of the Exeter scrum resulted in match official Maxwell-Keys also awarding two penalty tries.

While beaten comfortably in all facets of the game, to their credit Welsh kept fighting until the death and their efforts were rewarded with a late try. However it was a mere consolation on what was another forgetful performance from the Exiles this season.

For Exeter on the other hand, the win sends them riding a wave of confidence into this Sunday’s LV= Cup Semi-Final against Leicester Tigers.

Exeter Chiefs fly-half Henry Slade

Henry Slade receives England call up for Scotland game

Exeter Chiefs fly-half Henry Slade has been included in Stuart Lancaster’s England squad ahead of the RBS 6 Nations fixture against Scotland on Saturday at Twickenham after Brad Barritt was ruled out of the reminder of the tournament.

The Plymouth-born 21 year-old, who has featured impressively at inside and outside centre for Exeter this term, replaces unlucky Barritt after the Saracens centre who suffered an ankle sprain against Wasps on Sunday.

Lancaster admitted his coaching team have plenty to ponder after some impressive displays.“The weekend’s games gave us plenty to think about in terms of looking at guys who will have benefitted from the additional game time,” said the England Head Coach. “It’s unfortunate that Brad was injured but Henry has been playing well for Exeter and it’s good to be able to call him in.”

Article and image courtesy of Exeter Chiefs