DateLine: 16th May 2011
Malinga Bandara will not be joining Rawtenstall as professional. The club have acted quickly and signed fellow Sri Lankan Nilantha Cooray.
Rawtenstall skipper Vinny Hanson explained: "Unfortunately Malinga will not be joining us this season. The Professional Committee decided to seek an alternative professional after we were informed that Malinga was almost certain to be offered a participating role in the newly formed Sri Lanka equivalent to the IPL 20/20 competition.
"This would have meant him leaving us in July to take part which we felt wouldn't be the best option considering we were probably two weeks away from his paperwork clearing which would have meant a third of the season had already been completed. We have signed a like for like professional in Nilantha Cooray and whilst disappointed that Malinga isn't coming we are extremely confident that Nilantha is more than capable of filling the gap. Nilantha with hopefully be with us by the end of the month or at the beginning of June."
Muthuthantrige Nilantha Rohana Cooray averages 20.42 with the bat in First-class cricket with one century amongst his 2636 runs.
The 32 year-old leg spinner has taken 181 wickets at 21.4 with a best of 6-34 since his debut in 1999. Nilantha currently plays for Panadura Sports Club.