Singh hopes to return to Ashington next season

All rounder Anirudh Singh. Picture by Ian Appleby -
All rounder Anirudh Singh. Picture by Ian Appleby -

Anirudh Singh and Ashington Cricket Club are banking their hopes on his employers in India allowing him another sabbatical next year.

Singh, who has been the Colliers overseas player for the last two campaigns, flew back to India on Monday.

Provided the State Bank of Hyderabad where he works as a clerk agree to him having time off, he is pencilled in for a return in 2016.

“Pending permission from my employers, I will definitely be coming back next season as I have unfinished business,” he said before flying to Hyderabad.

“We have come close to winning the league two seasons in a row so maybe it will be a case of being third time lucky next year, although I don’t want to put any pressure on the club as it is a competitive league.”

Singh, who celebrated his 35th birthday last month, added: “We had a disappointing end to the season when a couple of games cost us the league, but these things happen.

“But as a team we have progressed from last year performing consistently well even though we ended one place below in third place.

“As our skipper Greg Williams has said all along, our aim was to finish as high as possible, but we are quite capable of winning the title. It will be a good challenge for us.

“A lot teams will be strengthening next season and new champions Shotley Bridge, Swalwell, Tynedale and Leadgate will be strong again.”

In June Singh broke the record for scoring the most hundreds in the history of the Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League since its inception in 2000.

His 17th ton, 132 against Consett, saw him overtake Mohtashim Ali and the left hander who then added a magnificent personal best of 190 against Annfield Plain in mid July, will be striving for more.

“Recording the most centuries was a good thing but my aim will obviously be to add to the tally,” he added.

Singh, whose wife Sudha and two-year-old daughter Ramia also came to Wansbeck for an extended holiday, had nothing but warm praise for the Langwell Crescent club.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our stay,” he said.

“Ashington are a really good family club who are very welcoming and I can’t believe how the time has gone over so quickly.”

Ashington CC chairman Bob Dunning said: “We are very glad Anirudh has agreed to return next season, provided his employers give him permission to take time off.

“The club were very pleased with his performances and had no hesitation in asking him to come back again.

“Anirudh is a very popular figure as well as being an excellent cricketer, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that arrangements can be finalised for his return.”

Singh has played for four clubs in the league and his breakdown of 18 centuries reads: eight for Ashington, six for Benwell & Walbottle, two for Backworth and two for Percy Main.