Melbourne Renegades have signed uncapped Sri Lankan spinner Ruwantha Kellapotha for the 2022/23 Big Bash.
The bowler will join the squad as an overseas replacement signing. Renegades picked up Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Akeal Hosein in the overseas player draft in August but both players have also signed up for the International League T20 in the UAE.
Kellapotha played domestic cricket in Sri Lanka between 2010 and 2013, featuring in both first-class and List A matches, but has spent most of the past decade playing club cricket in Melbourne.
Last summer, he represented Casey South Melbourne in Premier Cricket, taking 46 wickets across the season, and later turned out for both Victoria’s 2nd XI and Melbourne Renegades Academy. His performances for the latter in the Top End T20 Series in Darwin secured him a spot in the main squad for BBL12.
Commenting on joining Melbourne Renegades, Kellapotha said: “I’m really excited to be joining the Renegades. My journey to here has been a bit different. I played first-class cricket back in Sri Lanka, came to Melbourne in 2013 to play local cricket and then last year went to Premier Cricket.
“I’d achieved what I wanted to achieve in local cricket, so I wanted to see what I could do in Premier Cricket. Now I want to see what I can do at the highest level.
“I really appreciate this opportunity the Renegades have given me to be involved this year. It is a huge privilege and something I do not take lightly.
“This is going to be a great experience for me, playing with and against some of the best players in the world. I want to be a team player and whatever my team needs, I’ll give it 100 per cent.”
General manager, James Rosengarten, added: “We were impressed by what we saw from Ruwantha up in Darwin as part of the Renegades academy and his performances in Premier Cricket last year showed he can match it with Victoria’s best.
“He’s had a unique cricketing journey to get to this level. We’re confident he can come in and have an impact for us this season.
“We’ve got multiple overseas replacement player spots to work with to complement the players we selected in the draft and their availability, and will announce some more additions in the lead-up to BBL12.”