Robinson Services Premier League champions CIYMS have confirmed the re-signing of Karthik Rajavelu from Muckamore alongside the news that at least seven of their star squad from last season will be back at Belmont in 2020.
Rajavelu left CIYMS ahead of the 2019 season to join Muckamore, where he scored 159 runs in 15 innings and picked up 15 wickets.
Their relegation means he has made the move back to CIYMS, where he will be competing for a first team spot in a side that won four trophies last season, including the Gallagher Challenge Cup and their first ever All-Ireland T20 title.
It also comes with the boost that captain Nigel Jones, Allen Coulter, Jacob Mulder, James Cameron-Dow, Mark Adair, Chris Dougherty and Jason van der Merwe have all committed to the club for next season.
That will be a major relief for supporters of the club, with that squad plus the unresolved search for an overseas professional meaning they will again launch a bid at a maiden Irish Senior Cup crown – a competition they were beaten off the last ball in a thrilling semi-final against Waringstown.
Skipper Jones plays a huge role at the club and it is clear how much the squad enjoy playing for him, and he will again mix his playing duties with his role as head coach of Leinster Lightning.
Adair missed a lot of action last season with his emergence in the Ireland national squad, but in the matches he did play he was influential – no more so than in the Challenge Cup final where he was named man of the match.
Wicketkeeper Dougherty was named Player of the Year at the recent NCU annual dinner for his 916 runs at the top of the order and 43 dismissals behind the stumps.
Spin duo Mulder and Cameron-Dow each picked up 47 wickets last season, which is a record for any player in over a decade.
Mulder’s form was so good that he was called back into Ireland’s T20 squad before suffering a back injury, so it is yet to be seen how involved he will be at club level with Ireland’s packed schedule in all formats next year.
Further news of other players futures from the current crop is expected as we progress closer to the actual season.
In any case, this is massively positive news for CIYMS as they look to assert their dominance on the local club scene again in 2020.