By Nick Creely
Dandenong District Cricket Association powerhouse Buckley Ridges has announced a major appointment, with ex-Sri Lankan international Manjula Munasinghe signed as senior coach.
Munasinghe has served as director of junior coaching, with the senior role essentially an extension of that role.
He will serve as the first non-playing coach since Dennis Kruse, with the Bucks in recent seasons preferring playing coaches such as Steven Mullaney, David White and Chanaka Welegedera.
“We are delighted to have Manjula as our senior coach as he is a very impressive person on and off the field,” Buckley president Sonny De Silva told Gezza’s Talking Cricket column.
“Manjula is an ICC Level 3 coach which means not only that he will be the highest-graded coach that the club has ever had but unique at club level across Australia.
“We are convinced that he will be able to transfer the incredible success he has generated with our junior program into the senior ranks.
“Our management group believes that his appointment is a no brainer, and will further strengthen the club’s structure with an eye on the future.”
The ex-Sri Lankan quick played five ODIs for his country as well as 33 First Class matches and 17 List A matches, which included several matches against Australia, and has been involved in coaching since his international career ended and he migrated to Australia in 1999.
He was initially appointed junior coach by Cricket Victoria before coaching Monash University and founding the Aus-Lanka Cricket Academy in Melbourne with former Sri-Lankan Test player Ravi Ratnayake in 2005.
“I am very proud and excited to be appointed as the director of coaching at Buckley Ridges CC for the upcoming 2021-22 season,” Munasinghe said.
“I have watched this club grow immensely in the last five years . . . watching the great success of the senior teams from a distance and working with the juniors as their head of coaching.
“Buckley is a proud club, known throughout Victoria for its strong culture, its passionate members and strong family base.”
Springvale South has added a serious attacking weapon to its bowling attack, with ex-Victorian paceman Jayde Herrick signing on for the Bloods in a major coup for the club and the competition.
Herrick played 19 First Class matches for Victorian, snaring 77 wickets, while also representing the Melbourne Renegades in the BBL, and enjoyed a distinguished Victorian Premier Cricket career with Frankston Peninsula and Casey-South Melbourne where he took hundreds of wickets.
Herrick is also well-regarded as a solid batsman, with the Bloods hopeful he can not only add firepower with the ball, but also with the blade through the middle order.
Most recently, the 36-year-old played with Langwarrin in the MPCA, and enjoyed a dominant stint with Somerville before then. He left a strong stamp on the competition, taking 136 wickets at 12.8 and 1194 runs at 20.3 in his four seasons in the association.
Herrick will combine with fellow recruit Josh Dowling and Matt Wetering in what is bound to be the competition’s most frightening pace bowling trio, with the Bloods also possessing gun spinners Akshat Buch and Jarryd Straker.