CRICKET: Woodhall Spa confident Test star ‘PJ’ will return

PJ celebrates his century
PJ celebrates his century

Woodhall Spa CC is confident overseas star Prasanna Jaywardene will return to Jubilee Park - even though he could be required by his country.

Jayawardene - or ‘PJ’ to his teammates - made a big impact at Woodhall last season and helped the club go desperately close to winning the ECB Lincolnshire Premier League title.

He readily agreed to return in 2014 but recently earned a surprise recall to the Sri Lankan Test squad, at the age of 34.

Sri Lanka will play three Tests against Pakistan during the next couple of weeks.

Good performances could put Jayawardene in line for a place on Sri Lanka’s tour of England this summer.

He is unlikely to figure in the one-day squad for the opening weeks of the trip but could be included for Tests against England at Lord’s on June 12 and at Headingley on June 20.

Woodhall skipper Jack Luffman said: “It’s great to see ‘PJ’ back in the international game and the recall does mean there’s a bit of uncertainty.

“However, there’s no guarantee he will be selected for the England Tour.

“We’re in regular contact with him and he’s definitely planning to come back to Woodhall so we’re confident that will happen.”

Luffman confirmed the club had not even considered looking at a replacement - a clear sign they think Jayawardene will be available.

After starring for Woodhall, Jayawardene scored a stack of runs in domestic cricket in Sri Lanka, but is one of four wicket-keeper batsmen in contention for an international place.

Meanwhile, Lufmann has been re-appointed skipper after Woodhall were denied the title on the final day of last season.

Ricky Lovelace will re-join the club from Skegness while prolific openers Jonny Cheer and Sam Evison - who are playing in Australia this winter - will be available for the start of the league campaign at home to newcomers Market Rasen on April 19.

Winter nets start at St Hugh’s School on January 12,