Wright hopes overseas ace's return boosts March Town play-off hopes

Ben Chapman March vs Wisbech

March Town's Ben Chapman top scored in the first-team's friendly defeat with Downham Stow ahead of their league opener with Ramsey. - Credit: Daniel Mason/Archant

March Town captain Andy Wright believes the return of overseas ace Saranga Rajaguru can help bring back a winning mentality to the team. 

Rajaguru is due to make a return to the first-team in their league opener with Ramsey in Whitings & Partners Division One of the Cambs & Hunts Premier League at The Avenue on Saturday. 

The Sri Lankan star notched over 1,300 runs and 71 wickets during his last spell at The Avenue in 2019 for March, who look to mount a successful play-off push this season. 

“With Saranga back, hopefully he’ll bring the team morale up and his words of wisdom will put everyone in the right frame of mind,” Wright said. 

“He’s a massive mental boost for everyone and brings that winning mindset, and knows from playing at a high level, he knows how to win games.” 

Rajaguru did not play in March’s friendly at home to Downham Stow last weekend, where Sam Clarke captained the team in their seven-wicket defeat. 

Ben Chapman top scored with 28 in a game where Town fell from 52 without loss to 81-7, and Wright is keen to not let his side fall back into bad habits. 

“It was frustrating for me and very frustrated knowing the players that we had because they’re more than capable of scoring runs,” he said. 

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“I believe our players will step up to the challenge and hopefully be able to compete for those places.” 

Saranga Rajaguru March Town

Saranga Rajaguru is due to make his return to March Town's first-team in their league opener with Ramsey - Credit: March Town CC

Wright will be missing key marksman Shardul Brahmbhatt due to a knee injury, while Ben Pyle is also unavailable for the first game (12pm). 

But although the skipper has placed emphasis on Rajaguru this term, he is also looking for an improved display from his other players, too. 

“The rest of the team needs to up their own standards and not rely on them, especially when people are missing, they need to step up and get the job done,” Wright said. 

“Even though the setback of the defeat from the friendly wasn’t ideal, we’ve had good preparation in training and net practices, so everyone’s in a good mood going into the season.” 

March’s 2nds, 3rds, 4ths and both Sunday teams all start their seasons from May 1, with the Sunday 2nds hosting Wimblington in a friendly on April 25, 12.30pm.