A month after the 2021 player auction, there have been some developments in player recruitment and changes to the four clubs’ squads.
Reykjavík’s wicketkeeping resources have looked a little thin on the ground, with no second gloveman to cover any absence of Ravi Rawat. Their signing of Vesturbær’s Lakmal Bimsara, the third-stumper-in-line between Sebastiaan Dreyer and Lee Nelson, is both shrewd and timely. In return, Vesturbær have got Vinoth Kalaiazhagan who, despite inflating their seam squadron to seven, is well known to their squad and should blend in seamlessly.
Kópavogur has also made a quid-pro-quo deal with Reykjavík, but this is perhaps more a question of friendly face-fitting than anything to do with cricket, since both the players involved are part-time off-spinners of similar standard. The Puffins have managed to bring Arun Cheerankavil back into the fold by dint of returning Lal Mahagoda to his alma mater. The Kópavogur captain, David Cook, welcomed Cheerankavil’s return, and referred to his ‘untapped potential as a bowler,’ calling him ‘a mystery bowler to many.’
Five new players have been discovered and signed since the auction. At a cost of 12.000 krónur, Reykjavík have added Ankur Kumar, a batsman who previously played cricket in Croatia before his recent relocation to Iceland. Kópavogur have recruited Paresh Mandloi, in his own words a ‘solid and unspectacular’ batsman who’s returning to cricket after a decade-long hiatus, for 2.000 krónur; they have also given an opportunity to total novice Dimitrios Tsikas, whom they bought for 3.000 krónur. Cook describes him as ‘the best Greek cricketer since Xavier Doherty.’
Vesturbær continue to unearth cricketing talent in an around the Alvotech company. They have brought in Bharat Penumatsa for 4.000 krónur, a right-arm medium bowler (that brings their total to eight) and enthusiastic batsman. They also had to shell out 13.000 krónur for their own find, Sekhar Reddy. He played in cricket tournaments in India during his youth, and though he has not played cricket for eight years, he attracted considerable interest from the other clubs for his abilities as a batsman.
The clubs now have approximately two months in which to train and plan before the indoor Volcanic Ashes tournament, the first of the four domestic competitions.