Oakfield Parkonians have pulled off a major coup with the signing of former Sri Lankan international Priyamal Perera for their 2024 Essex League campaign.

An explosive batter who bowls off-spin, Perera broke into the Sri Lankan ODI side in March 2019, playing 2 matches against South Africa (0 and 33).

Perera’s meteoric rise to the national side was based on his domestic exploits and success for Sri Lanka over, over the past few years.

Such was Perera’s talent, that he was fast-tracked to play for Sri Lanka A (in August 2014 v Hampshire) before playing a domestic List A game. He had, though, made his first-class and T20 debuts for Colts Cricket Club towards the previous summer, following 14 matches for Sri Lankan Under-19. He excelled for the Under-19s, particularly in the ICC World Cup in February 2014, finishing as Sri Lanka’s second-leading run-scorer (204 runs at 40.80).

Thereafter, Perera starred in Sri Lanka’s Premier Tournament in 2015/16 hitting 526 runs at 43.83, before season tallies of 410 at 31.53 (2016/17) and 830 at 39.52 (2017/18) to keep him on the national radar. However, it was his 2018/19 season for Colts that generated his national selection, hitting 1,001 runs at 83.41 with 4 centuries, including a sensational double (206*).

Whilst he failed to replicate his first-class numbers in 2019/20 (304 runs at 27.63), 2021/22 (74 runs at 24.66), and 2022/23 (205 runs at 41), he belted successive tons in List A cricket in 2020/21, to average 101 in SLC’s Limited Overs Tournament, and since moving clubs (to Police Sports Clubs in 2023), has averaged 60.50 (2023), and has 204 runs at 29.14 in the current 2023/24 season.

The Sri Lankan star has also enjoyed two stints abroad with West Herts in the top tier of the Hertfordshire Cricket League. He excelled hitting 1,478 runs at 39.95 alongside 68 wickets at 21.76. The club also stressed how strong his fielding was, stating he was the best ground fielder they’d ever seen!

Perera is a star performer who is now set to embark on a UK return in 2024 having signed with Oakfield Parkonians for their Essex League campaign.