Great Brickhill has moved swiftly to replace outgoing pro Tharindu Ratnayake with the signing of fellow Sri Lankan Navin Kavikara for their 2022 Home Counties Premier League campaign.
Sri Lankan stand-out
Kavikara is one of Sri Lankan cricket’s most reliable left-arm spinners, playing for Nugegoda SWC in domestic cricket.
The tweaker has taken 151 wickets at 23.50 with 9 five-wicket bags and 2 ten-wicket match hauls in his 30 first-class matches. Kavikara has also excelled in both white-ball formats, too, with career averages of 20.70 and 22.10 in List A and T20 cricket, respectively.
Kavikara’s first-class career started in 2013/14 when he played for Badureliya (following his List A debut for current club Lankans, back in 2011/12). He only managed 4 wickets at 69.75, before losing his place. A few years on, he re-joined Lankans and set domestic cricket alight, taking 49 wickets at 19.75.
He returned to Lankans with a bang, taking a 10-wicket match haul (5-63, 5-30) bowling his side to victory against the Sri Lankan Air Force Sports Club. He continued to shine since, with match figures of 3-104, 1-29 (v Panadura); 3-81, 3-46 (v Kurunegala); 6-73, 1-20 (v Kulutara Physical Culture Club); 4-76, 4-70 (v. Kalutara Town Club); 3-60, 2-65 (v Sri Lanka Ports Authority); 4-185 (v Lankan) and 5-41, 0-25 (v Police Sports Club).
Kavikara then backed up with a strong 2017/18 season, taking a further 36 poles at 26.80 before moving to Panadura for the 2018/19 season (19 wickets at 20.31). He joined KYCC in 2019/20 and, once again, excelled, taking 43 wickets at 22.13, 10 wickets at 10.25, and 10 wickets at 15.40 in first-class, List A, and T20 cricket, respectively. Due to COVID, red-ball cricket was cancelled last summer, but he did manage to play white-ball cricket for Nugegoda SWC with success.
Kavikara’s journey though, began at school level, when he made the Sri Lankan Schools and Under-19s in 2007/08. He played 2 Test Match and 14 ODI’s for the latter, including 5 games in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in 2018 (in a side that also featured Angelo Matthews, Kusal Perera, Tissara Perera, Sachith Pathirana, Lahiru Thirimanne, and Dinesh Chandimal), taking 8 wickets at 18.37.
During the opening Test against India, he can lay claim to dismissing Virat Kohli in both innings. He also took the wickets of Saurabh Tiwary, Abhinav Mukund, and Ravindra Jadeja during these two matches.
Thereafter, Kavikara was involved with the Sri Lankan Under-21’s (2009/10) and Development XI (2010). He played List-A cricket for Lankan Cricket Club (2011/12) and Chilaw Marians Cricket Club (2012/13) before a move to Badureliya Sports Club in 2013/14 where he broke into first-class cricket. Opportunities were limited and he didn’t feature on the domestic circuit in 2014/15 or 2015/16, before his barnstorming return to Lankan Cricket Club in 2016/17.
The talented left-arm spinner, who is known to be a useful bat in the lower-order, has spent two seasons in Yorkshire playing for Sessay (2018-19). Playing in the Yorkshire Premier League North, Kavikara took 94 wickets at 19.28 and scored 619 runs at 16.29 during his prolific 2-season stint.
Now set for the Home Counties…
Kavikara is now looking forward to his third stint abroad this summer having recently signed with Great Brickhill for their 2022 Home Counties Premier League campaign.