LYTHAM are reaping the rewards of a passage to India by all-rounder Fayaz Ughradar.
The 19-year-old’s fine form is one of the reasons for Lytham’s surge to the top of the Liverpool Competition table as the opener enjoys the benefits of his hard work over the winter.
Not only did Blackburn-based Ughrader work diligently in the nets, he also spent part of the close-season playing in India, where he attended the World Cricket Academy in Nagpur.
“It was really good in India and you get top coaching,” Ughradar said.
“My bowling has improved over the winter, and I’d say I’m having my best season yet.
“I’d like a few more runs. I just take each game as it comes, and hopefully the century will come soon.”
Fayaz is in his fourth season at the club and a century remains elusive.
He has four 50s under his belt this season, with a best of 66 not out in the Ray Digman Knockout trophy against Wigan in April, and has topped 500 runs already.
With the ball, he has taken 30 wickets in the ECB Premier League, with a career-best return of 6-37 against Rainford last month.
Another influence on Fayaz is the club’s new South African professional George Linde, an inspirational figure who practises what he preaches.
Ughradar added: “Yes, George smashed a hundred last weekend, and is brilliant to work with. He’s young and it’s great to learn from him.”
That ton against Leigh contributed to Lytham’s eighth win in 10 league games, and they lead the table by nine points from Northern.
Ughradar is learning on the field and off it, as he studies for a sports science degree in Preston.
He has made appearances for the Lancashire Academy side, and would relish the opportunity to play more representative cricket.
“That would be good, but I’m really just trying to be consistent for my club.”
And if his form helps the Church Road club to a second league title in three years, so much the better.
“We can definitely can win the league,” he said. “We are all gelling together and all enjoying it.”
Lytham visit mid-table Highfield tomorrow, when Northern face a tough away match at third-placed Bootle.