North Kildare is hoping it’ll be third time lucky as they announce the re-signing of Indian Player/Coach Kaustub Pawar for their 2022 Leinster League campaign.

Former Mumbai run machine

Pawar is an accomplished opening batter and medium-pacer who’s played 33 first-class matches for the powerhouse Mumbai side between 2011 and 2016. Mumbai is the most successful Ranji Trophy team in history with 41 titles, the most recent being in 2015/16.

The side has produced some of the greats including Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Vijay Merchant, and Dilip Vengsarkar. The current squad features the likes of Indian players DS Kulkarni, Abhishek Nayar and Rohit Sharma, so the fact Pawar played for Mumbai (let alone excels), is a feat in itself.

KP in numbers…

Pawar has played 33 first-class matches for Mumbai, scored 1,629 runs at 30.73. He has 6 fifties and 5 hundreds – his most recent, an undefeated century (100*) against the touring New Zealanders in September 2016, in an attack that featured quicks’ Trent Boult, Neil Wagner, and Doug Bracewell, alongside the spin trio of Mitch Santner, Mark Craig and Ish Sodhi.

Pawar made his debut for Mumbai in 2011/12 hitting 577 runs at 41.21 (2x100s), then backed-up with a further 628 runs at 41.86 (2x100s). Unfortunately, a shoulder injury (which required surgery), put him out of cricket for the next two seasons (2014/15-15/16), but he returned in 2016/17 to hit his century against the Blackcaps, in his return outing for Mumbai.

UK club cricket superstar

Pawar has also excelled abroad, during five stints in UK league cricket. During this period, “KP” has been a prolific run-scorer, hitting 5,519 runs at 56.32, and has taken his share of wickets too, bowling right-arm medium pace.

He spent two seasons with Northern Premier League side Barrow (2014- 825 runs at 37.50, 31 wickets at 19.03; 2016 – 836 runs at 49.18, 3 wickets at 31) before two barnstorming seasons (2017-18) with Greenmount, whom he helped to promotion in the Greater Manchester Cricket League (Division 1) in his opening season.

The Indian sensation topped not only the GMCL run charts in 2017, but his 1,136 runs at 87.38 (3x100s, 7x50s) saw him top the CricX client 2017 season batting averages. Pawar also weighed in with 31 wickets at 15.42 in the league.

Unsurprising, Greenmount re-signed the Mumbai run machine for their Premier campaign in 2018 and, his run-spree continued. In all forms of cricket, to include GMCL League, Cup, and sub-pro games (in the Lancashire League), he scored over 1,800 runs with 9 centuries – 5 League, 1 Cup, and tons for Rawtenstall (2) and Todmorden (1), not to mention a number of wickets throughout the summer.

KP returned for a third and final stint in 2019 and continued where he left off, striking another 590 runs at 73.75 despite a late arrival due to Indian domestic commitments.

Now set for Irish stint in 2022 (hopefully….)

KP has been, without doubt, one of the best pros in recent years. He was set to play in Ireland for LCU club North Kildare over the past two seasons, but due to COVID, it’s now third time lucky in 2022.