CRICKET: All change with North West sides ahead of 2016 season

All-rounder Graeme McCarter has decided to leave Coleraine and signed for CSNI for next season.
All-rounder Graeme McCarter has decided to leave Coleraine and signed for CSNI for next season.

Irish international Graeme McCarter is switching Unions, moving from Coleraine in the North West to CSNI in the NCU.

The 23 year-old - who has won 7 caps for Ireland - helped the Bannsiders to the Long’s Supervalu Premier Division title this season, but told the club of his intention to switch clubs.

McCarter, released by Gloucestershire in 2014, will hope the move to Stormont will revitalise an Irish career that has failed to take off since his debut in 2011.

On the plus side for the Bannsiders Niall McDonnell has had a change of heart and has agreed to stay on for another year at least.

The opening batsman had indicated that family commitments would mean he would be taking time out of the game next year.

However it now seems that he will be available again to Scott Campbell in the summer.

A spokesman for the Sandel Lodge side has also reported that David Cooke is set to rejoin his brother, Gordon, ahead of the title defence of their title in 2016.

Cooke had a superb season for Bonds Glen this year and will add real strength to the middle order as well as giving them options with the ball.

Their first confirmed piece of business is the arrival of a new overseas professional.

Kyllin Vardhan did a very good job in his couple of seasons at Sandel Lodge but the South African won’t be returning next April and has been replaced by what looks, on paper at least, to be a real quality player.

The man in question is 27-year-old Sri Lankan, Roshen Silva.

A top order batsman who has been playing first class cricket since he was 18, and currently boasts an average of fractions under 50 at that grade.

Silva has played for his country at under-19 and ‘A’ level, and scored an unbeaten century in Christchurch against New Zealand ‘A’ just six weeks ago.

He is thought to be on the periphery of the Sri Lankan national side, but has confirmed his availability to the Bannsiders next summer.

Silva’s signing is no bad news for the North West Warriors either as he has a proven track record in three-day competition.

It has been a busy few weeks in the North West with several player moves confirmed as clubs begin to draw up plans for the 2016 season.

One of those hardest hit has been St Johnston where at least three of last season’s first team panel have agreed to move away.

The trio is headed by Ryan Macbeth who has opted to join Brigade.

The 18-year-old has bundles of potential despite finding life in the top flight a little tougher last time, compared to his excellent effort in the Championship 12 months earlier.

It is thought that the Donegal youngster harbours ambition of breaking into the Ireland under-19 set-up and felt that he needed to be competing at the top level domestically in order to make that happen.

Also on the move is Khushpal Singh, one of the Saints’ players who fared quite well in the Premier Division this year.

The attacking lower-middle order batsman has apparently agreed to join Strabane although for now it remains to be seen if Ryan Patton will also be joining him there.

Definitely leaving the Donegal club as well is Kevin Martin; the wicket-keeper/batsman going back to his roots as he re-joins Ardmore.

It is believed that Martin will stay on as a coach at St Johnston while continuing his playing career at the Bleachgreen.

Andrew Riddles has left the Bleachgreen, believed to be returning to Donemana, so it makes sense that Ardmore would bring back Martin as a batting keeper and go for a bowling professional to cover for the loss of Riddles.