Paarl Rocks name replacement international marquee player

File image: Isuru Udana.File image: Isuru Udana.

Sri Lankan Isuru Udana has replaced England’s David Willey as the Paarl Rocks’ international marquee player for the 2019 Mzansi Super League.

Willey has has been ruled out of the tournament due to workload management by the England and Wales Cricket Board.

The 31-year-old Udana’s all-round ability was showcased during Sri Lanka’s limited-overs series against South Africa and the World Cup earlier this year.

The hard-hitting left-hander struck a brisk 84 not out and 78 in T20I and ODI cricket, respectively, against the Proteas in March. The right-arm seamer impressed with two key wickets against eventual World Cup champions three months later.

“We are very excited to get a player of Isuru’s calibre who was Sri Lanka’s star player during their T20I series against the Proteas earlier this year,” said Cricket South Africa acting director of cricket Corrie van Zyl.

“He made more than twice the number of runs as any of his colleagues and had a strike rate of more than 170 percent. This is right up with the very best standards by any comparison. He has a career strike rate of 153 in the T20I format and one of 96 in ODIs.

“He was a regular choice for Sri Lanka throughout the recent World Cup, which included his playing a crucial role in his country’s upset 20-run win over England. One of his two wickets was that of England captain Eoin Morgan.

“He is currently in action for Sri Lanka in their T20I series against New Zealand and I am sure the Paarl Rocks players, management and fans will be keeping a close eye on his performances.”

The date for the Mzansi Super League player draft, meanwhile, has been confirmed. The event will be hosted in Soweto on 3 September.

“There will be more excitement on Tuesday next week when all the squads are finalised at the MSL player draft,” added van Zyl.

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