Suraj Randiv: Professional thinks time with Morecambe can help him back into Sri Lanka side

New Morecambe professional Suraj Randiv. Picture: Tony North
New Morecambe professional Suraj Randiv. Picture: Tony North

When new Morecambe Cricket Club professional Suraj Randiv says he is in the country to learn about English conditions he isn’t lying.

The Sri Lankan international wears full winter gloves as we talk in the bar at Woodhill Lane but despite his shock at the Lancashire weather he is engaging as he tells tales of life at the pinnacle of world cricket.

His achievements include winning the Indian Premier League with the Chennai Super Kings in same year, 2011, that he was a late call up for the World Cup final in his side’s losing effort to India in Mumbai.

“I was down at my club (in Sri Lanka),” says Randiv, an off-spin bowler and handy batsman.

“I got a call saying I had to go to India at midnight that day.

“I nearly fainted, it was the World Cup final and I was going to play.

“Within five hours I flew to India. We had a day of practice and I was told I was going to play the next day.

“People were telling me to be calm but I was nervous.

“After the practice I went back to the hotel and visualised my earlier games and how I’d bowled, how I’d handled pressure.

“Before the match I was nervous but on the match day I didn’t feel anything, I was just very focused on the game.”

So why then has a man who has achieved so much in the game decided to spend his summer on the Lancashire coast?

“I’ve never played in England, Australia or New Zealand, in seaming conditions and cold weather,” said the 30-year-old, who has toured the country twice with Sri Lanka’s A team and senior side.

“I just want to get some experience of how to bowl in various conditions against different players.

“The only experience I have is in Asian countries.

“It’s a huge opportunity for me to get some really good experience of how to bowl in English conditions.”

Having played 12 tests and 30 one-day internationals for his country, narrowly missing out on the World Cup squad this year, Randiv also believes his time in the Northern Premier League can help him back into the national side.

“It would definitely help,” he says.

“If I perform well here I have a big opportunity to play for the national team again.

“They (the selectors) tried new guys and have three off-spinners now so that’s why I planned to come here because I need to get some experience rather than doing nothing back in Sri Lanka.”

With 43 test and 36 ODI scalps Randiv is confident he could perform in all three formats of the game if given another chance by the Sri Lankan selectors.

“If you take my stats I definitely think I can play all three formats,” said the spinner whose last test came against New Zealand in 2012.

“In T20 the last two games I played against Australia in Perth I got man of the match and then in Bristol in 2011 I thought I played well against England but after that I didn’t play.

“In 12 test matches I’ve got 43 wickets and in 30 one-dayers I’ve got 36 wickets.

“I can play all formats.”

Despite the obvious personal advantages, Randiv knows he is also in the ideal position to help players coming through the ranks at Woodhill Lane.

“It’s quite a new experience as well,” said Randiv, who has made the trip over with his wife and three-year-old daughter.

“I’ve never done that before.

“I love to learn and what I have learned I love to share it.”

Given his pedigree at international level, Morecambe’s players will certainly be all ears.