Saker signs up for weekly 150-mile round trip to play for Barton

Torbay Weekly

Barton Cricket Club have persuaded Australian all-rounder Justin Saker to make a weekly 150-mile round-trip from North Devon to help in their bid to win promotion back to the Tolchards Devon League Premier Division this season.

All-rounder Saker has lived in the UK for several years, after a promising early career in his home country, and he scored almost 2,800 runs in three years (2016-2018) for 'B' Division Filleigh before having a work-prompted break.

Ninety-three of those runs came in an unbeaten knock against Barton in 2017.

"I've only ever played B and C Division of the Devon League, and I would like to have a go at a higher level," Saker, 30, told the league website.

"Barton have been trying to get me down there for a couple of years, and now seems the right time to have a go with them in the A Division.

"They are keen to get back into the Premier Division, and I would like to help them - they have some good young players, and lads coming back from university."

Barton aren't the only South Devon A Division side trying to win promotion.

Local rivals Abbotskerswell continue to strengthen their squad ahead of the 2021 campaign which opens on May 1.

In the wake of losing Elliott Adams to Premier Division Bovey Tracey, Abbots have revealed Sri Lankan all-rounder Chathura Peiris as their new overseas player, travel restrictions permitting.

Former under-19 international Peiris, who will bring coaching qualifications to the role, has already tasted experience of conditions here, having impressed in three spells in North Midlands and Northern Ireland league cricket.

The Two Mile Oak club has also picked up Paignton batsman Noah Wright and Torquay all-rounder Neal Osborn, who is now concentrating on cricket after a tilt as a professional goalkeeper with Torquay United and Southampton.