Rye snap up Indian maestro

Kshemal Waingankar, Rye Cricket Club's overseas player for the 2015 season
Kshemal Waingankar, Rye Cricket Club's overseas player for the 2015 season
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Rye Cricket Club has pulled off a major signing for its 2015 overseas player.

The Sussex Cricket League Division Four club has recruited Kshemal Waingankar, who at present is playing for the Mumbai Indians.

Rye CC secretary Martin Blincow said: “It’s a good coup for the club really. On paper he looks good and the video footage looks quite useful as well.”

The 29-year-old Indian is a right-arm opening bowler who has spent time with the Australian Centre of Excellence in 2006/07 and has since been a member of the powerhouse Mumbai squad.

During his tenure with the Ranji Trophy’s most successful side, he has played alongside a host of the game’s greats, including Zaheer Khan, Wasim Jaffer and Sachin Tendulkar.

Appearances, though, have been limited with the current Mumbai seam attack including national players Ajit Agarkar, Abhishek Nayar, Aavishkar Salvi and India A’s DS Kulkarni. That said, he has impressed at domestic level, particularly in the shorter formats and has a penchant for dismissing profile players.

Waingankar has starred in three outings against the touring England side - firstly for the India President’s XI in 2006, taking figures of 4-79, including the wickets of Andrew Strauss, Geraint Jones and Michael Vaughan (in both innings).

In 2008, he took a devastating 5-37 for the Mumbai Cricket Association XI to see England bowled out for 98. His victims were Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Samit Patel, Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright.

More recently in November 2012 in a three-day match for Mumbai A, Waingankar proved to be England’s nemesis once more, taking 3-72 in the first innings, including eight maidens, plus the wickets of Nick Compton (bowled) and, for a second time, Bell and Patel, both caught behind.

Waingankar is a proven performer who is returning to the UK after three successful stints back in 2005 (Downend CC), 2007 (Old Whitgiftians CC) and 2013 with Sussex club Pulborough where he took 26 wickets at 20.08 and struck 314 runs at 39.25, including a best of 150 in the final match to coincide with another five-for to sign off for the club.

This winter in India he has turned in good performances in the major domestic competition.

Not only will Waingankar be contributing on the field, he will also be coaching the colts’ teams at the Friday evening training sessions starting on May 1. A great opportunity for young local players to learn from a first class player.

* RYE Cricket Club will hold its AGM at The Mermaid Inn this coming Sunday from 7pm.