An undefeated Caroline Springs has received a massive boost with the current Sri Lankan test captain Dimuth Karunarathne committing to play for the Victorian Turf Cricket Association Roy Picone Shield club.
The Falcons announced on Friday that Karunarathne would join the club in what is the biggest signing in the club’s history and one of the biggest signing’s in the competition’s history.
Falcons president Anthony Rice said it was an opportunity that was too good for the club to turn down.
“At the end of the day we are a division 3 club,” he said. “We’ve worked hard the last few years to give ourselves some more relevance and we have put in a lot of hard work.
“He is here on a holiday shortly and the question was posed to me whether he could play with us.
“Like any other club we jumped at the opportunity with both hands. It’s an unbelievable opportunity for him to come to Caroline Springs.
“It’s massive for the community to have a test captain here.”
Karunarathne will be the third player with international experience to play for the Falcons.
Rice said Karunarathne would play four games before Christmas before international duties. He said if they make finals, Karunarathne could return to be part of them which would be a big boost at the back end of the season.
Rice said there was a sense of disbelief among the playing group that someone of Karunarathne’s talent was joining the club.
The opening batter averages 40 with the bat in test matches and has also played one-dayers and T20s internationally.
“For the younger guys to play with and against a test captain is amazing,” Rice said.
“We’re not getting carried away with expectations and doing for us game day. Him being here will benefit the whole club, with him spending a month here and around the club.”
The addition of an international batsman is unwanted news for opposition sides, with the Falcons having had a strong start to the season.
On Saturday, they completed another win, this time against East Keilor.
Having made 226, the Falcons bowled East Keilor out for 152.
Gavin McCallum was the star on day two, taking 6-68 off his 18.3 overs.
Damith Priyadarshana took the other four wickets.
The Falcons were sent back in and were 6-51 when the game was called off.
Reece Blackman top scored with 20 off 19 balls.
Rice said the group was only going to get better as the season goes along.
“We were disappointed last year,” he said. “We had the team to challenge but had a couple of bad losses and fell short.
“We have a fairly new side and players are still mixing and coming together as a team. We have won games but it hasn’t been perfect, we will only get better.”
The Falcons next face Maribyrnong Park St Marys in a two-dayer starting this Saturday.