ROWLEDGE Cricket Club’s overseas player for 2016 will be New Zealand-based Sushant Balajee.

The Madras-born all-rounder has come up through the ranks at Wellington, having represented the province through the age-groups, including three years with the Under-20s.

Balajee, 21, captained the Hutt Valley School 1st XI to success in both one and two-day competitions and to fourth place in the Gillette Cup nationwide schools tournament.

He was one of the top run-scorers and wicket-takers in Wellington and was subsequently picked as one of three finalists for the Wellington Cricketer of the Year in 2012.

He made a successful transition into Premier club cricket in Wellington, firstly for North City and more recently for Victoria University, where he finished amongst the top ten scorers in the men’s Premier Grade competition.

Balajee, who bats right-handed and bowls off-spin, has played with and against top players such as Mark Gillespie, Matt Bell, Luke Ronchi, Luke Woodcock and Grant Elliott.

He will now test himself in the hurly-burly of Southern Premier League Division One cricket under Rowledge skipper Ben Wish who succeeded the long-serving David Lloyd during last season.

* Ropley Cricket Club have signed South African all-rounder Tim Niemand, 19, as their overseas player for the upcoming Hampshire League season.

A right-hand bat and off-spinner, Niemand plays for Old Selbornians in East London, having spent last summer with Cheshire-based Davenham.

Ropley, who fought a successful rearguard action to avoid relegation from County One last season, have lost Will Gabb to Lymington.