Anirudh relishing his role at Ashington

Ashington all rounder Anirudh Singh. Picture by Ian Appleby
Ashington all rounder Anirudh Singh. Picture by Ian Appleby
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Anirudh Singh is relishing being Ashington Cricket Club’s overseas player.

The Mighty Acorns secured the services of the 33-year-old Hyderabad-born all rounder in the close season.

And Singh admits that he is enjoying his time with the Langwell Crescent-based outfit.

So much so that if the club were to ask him to return again next year, he would have no hesitation with his answer, describing the question as being a ‘no brainer’.

It is a two-way situation, though, as Singh has made a big impression at the club during the first half of the season.

And he started the second period with an aggressive unbeaten 74 against Lanchester on Saturday.

Singh, who has previously played in the Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League for Benwell & Walbottle, Backworth and Percy Main, said: “Simon Prudhoe – who I already knew well – asked me to come to Ashington and I jumped at the opportunity.

“Ashington have a big history of sport and cricket who have produced some great players more recently like Steve and Ben Harmison and Mark Wood, and I wanted to come and play my part.”

He continued: “Back home I’m a sports person, but when I’m not playing cricket, I’m employed as a clerk for the State Bank of Hyderabad, and I would like to thank them for allowing me the time off to come over here.

“I think the Northumberland & Tyneside League is quite good and the cricket is competitive, but from my own point of view, I feel there is room for improvement.

“I believe I could have performed better in the first half.

“I made a century at Burnopfield and have another couple of 50s under my belt, but a few times I have played myself in – into the 40s – then got out, so the challenge for me until the end of the campaign is to convert those scores into hundreds, which would then give the team a better chance of winning.

“Bowling wise, I have done well, although early in the season the wickets were not ideal for spinners like myself.”

Singh is convinced Ashington have caught opponents on the hop.

“After winning promotion last term everyone wants to do well, and I think we have surprised a few teams as to how good we are,” he said.

“From now on it will get tougher for us because the opposition will be aware of what we can do.

“On our day if we play our best cricket we can beat anyone, but we have got to strive to be consistent because we have also lost when playing badly against teams we should have beaten, and that has been a disappointment.

“I’m here until the end of the season and hopefully we should do well.

“Certainly the lads are up for it.”

Singh, a left handed batsman and right arm off spinner, who played in the IPL for Deccan Chargers four years ago, would jump at the chance to return to Wansbeck next season.

“From the first day I arrived, it has felt like home,” he added.

“All of the lads have been great and made me feel welcome, especially Chris Watson, where I am lodging, who lives a stone’s throw from the ground.

“The club have been fantastic and if I was asked back, I would not have to think for a second – I’d love to return.”