Botadra on song for Birkenhead City - 24/11/14

Rutvik Botadra CRICX star Rutvik Botadra has been in sublime form for Birkenhead City in Auckland this season.

Harcourts Cooper & Co Birkenhead City have been the surprise package of the Auckland Major Championship so far this season and fast bowler Rutvik Botadra was the star of the City show last weekend taking six wickets as his side defeated the reigning Hedley Howarth Trophy champions Suburbs New Lynn.

“I was delighted to take the wickets but mainly just happy for the team,” said Botadra. “All of our seamers bowled well after our batters scored a big total and it was great to get first innings points against possibly the best club side in Auckland.”

Botadra also took five wickets in his side’s first round outright victory over East Coast Bays and the 23-year-old is happy to have found form at an important stage of the season: “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the two-day comp.

“I was playing in the UK over the winter and I think that has helped me get into a good rhythm quicker than the guys who haven’t been away as it always takes a while to get into a new season.”

City were somewhat of an unknown quantity coming into the season with a new coach and an almost entirely new premier playing squad, but after two consecutive victories Botadra believes his side is only going to improve: “We have a lot of new players which has given us a different look but we have gelled together well. We are quite a young side but most of us have played premier cricket for at least a few years now.

“It is still very early to start talking about where we would like to finish but we do see the two-day competition as our main focus and we have made an excellent start, however we can’t look past this weekend`s game against Takapuna as that will be another massive challenge for us.”

Botadra played his junior cricket at East Coast Bays and Takapuna before joining Birkenhead four seasons ago to begin his premier career. Botadra played his school cricket for Westlake and now has two full seasons of cricket behind him in the UK: “My first season over there I played division one in Lincolnshire and then went back and played premier cricket in the North Staffordshire & South Cheshire league.

“That was a very good standard and we played against quite a lot of ex-internationals such as Abdul Razzaq and that gave me a great preparation for the season back here.”

Botadra is now hoping that his form with the ball continues as he looks to stake a claim for higher honours: “I thought I came close last season but wasn’t able to get a game in the Auckland A side.

“This year that is a major goal of mine, I am currently training to become a fitness instructor and am doing a lot of coaching but I am hoping to keep putting in some good performances and force my way into the selectors thoughts.”


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