DOMINANT all-rounder Jason Perera has announced his intention to remain at Port Fairy as the club ramps up its pursuit of a top grade premiership.
The 24-year-old Sri Lankan comfortably cleared the chasing pack in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association’s division one cricketer of the year on Wednesday night, polling 26 votes to take out the award.
Speaking alongside Pirates co-captain Kalon Wilkie, Perera flagged his desire to return to the association next season.
Wilkie said Perera’s opening partnership with Williams was vital to the Pirates’ strong season.
“I think they’ve probably averaged about 70 for the season as a partnership,” he said.
“It’ll be great to have him for the full season instead of missing the first few games like this year.
“It was a very disappointing end to the year but we’ve got something to (annoy) us and motivate us for the upcoming season.”
Perera also posted the association’s highest batting average – 54.09 – which included two centuries against Nirranda and East Warrnambool.
Remarkably, he earned the top honour despite missing the Pirates’ opening five fixtures.
He formed a lethal opening partnership with co-captain Aaron Williams, who took out the batting aggregate with 619 runs, to play a vital role in Port Fairy’s rise to the semi-finals.
The former Sri Lankan junior international also claimed 36 wickets to emerge as a dangerous bowling option. He was just one wicket behind eventual bowling aggregate winner, Ben Evans.
Wilkie highlighted Perera’s impact with the ball as just as crucial as his batting efforts.
“He’s taken 36 wickets for the year and that’s something that can be forgotten a little bit,” he said.
Reigning cricketer of the year, Mark Murphy, pulled in just behind on 20 votes, while his brother, Nathan, finished third on 17.
Nestles all-rounder Kyle Humphrys (16) and Dennington captain-coach Daminda Ranaweera (15) rounded out the top five.