Shreyas’ statistics for the 2017 league season were impressive; the spin bowler took 36 wickets, an average of 9.03 per wicket, and his percentage of wickets taken 32.73. The award was presented to him by The Bears’ Club President, Major Rikki Peters, at the annual cricket dinner on Saturday 2 December. “ I am so thrilled to receive this in my first full season for The Bears” said Shreyas.
The Bears are lucky to have him; by sheer chance Shreyas was overheard talking cricket at a local eatery by The Bears undercover agent, Nik Purnell, and was invited to come along to the winters nets.
“I was enjoying my pulled pork burrito while talking cricket with my mates, as all Indian boys do, at Mission Burrito in Bath when Nik Purnell piped up with his praise for Virat Kohli. The conversation flowed as we bonded over our mutual love for cricket and it ended with him inviting me to practice with the team.
Fast-forward a few months, I finally took Nik up on his offer and became a part of the Bear Flat family. I had joined the club with the intention to work on my batting and score a few runs, but little did I know, Mark Gunning had other plans. As generous as always with his praise, he called me the best number 11 in the league while I used batting at number 11 as an excuse for my sad contribution of 25 runs in 15 league games.
I have always been extremely grateful for this chance encounter as playing with the bears has taught me so much about the English culture. I would also like to use this message as an opportunity to thank everyone who has given me lifts to and from games and net sessions. I look forward to another year of cricket and many more successes for and with The Bears.
P.S. That was my first and last time at Mission Burrito (no disrespect to the food – it’s just not spicy enough)”.
The rest, as they say, is history. Shreyas was born and brought up in Oman. The 20 year old has a notable CV. He started playing cricket at the age of 8, playing school and league cricket in the sandy grounds of Muscat. He is a true international, having played age group cricket (U16 and U19) for Oman, and at 12 years old was the youngest player to play for the U19’s.
In 2012, Shreyas was included in a cricket exchange programme with Gordonstoun School in Scotland.
He was offered a contract with the Oman A team, but declined to focus on academia. He is currently studying Accounting and Finance at Bath University.
As well as receiving this accolade from the League, Shreyas was also awarded the BFCC Bowler of the Year Award 2017.
This summer he was on placement based in London and to enable him to play on Saturday afternoon, he caught a bus from London at 2am. Post match he returned to London to resume his studies. He played in 90% of the league games. Such commitment to the club was rewarded by him receiving the Players’ Player of the Year award 2017.
Mark Gunning, Saturday captain, describes Shreyas as “modest, very down to earth, and doesn’t realise how good he is. He is a great asset to the club”.
Despite having such a successful first full season, Shreyas has one ambition left to achieve at the club – to open the batting for the Bears. His current position is the best number 11 in the League, so The Bears are hoping he will be around for quite a few seasons to come to help him achieve that.