Diggers Rest Bulla has added depth to its list as it looks to be more competitive in the Gisborne and District Cricket McIntyre Cup Premier first grade.

After finishing seventh last season and nearly 20 points outside the top four, the Burras have added some reinforcements.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Upul Fernando has joined the club from PEGS in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association, while Anushka Thanthiri is a leg spin bowler who has come across from Footscray United, which also plays in the VTCA.

In a boost for the Burras, former coach Kevin Barker returned to the club late last month after one and half seasons away.

When last at the Burras, Barker averaged 35 with the bat and took
30 wickets.

He coached the side to the 2015-16 McIntyre Cup grand final which finished in a tie, with Gisborne announced the winner after finishing higher on the ladder.

He was named player of the match after making a century.

Burras coach Rasika Batepola said batting was one area they struggled with last season. The arrival of Fernando and the return of Barker is expected to help with that.

“Hopefully it’ll be a bit of a challenge for other teams bowling against our top line-up,” he said.

“We’ve had a couple of signings which is exciting. We didn’t have enough depth last season, but hopefully we’ll have some more this year.”

Batepola, who is in his second season at the Burras, said he was more settled this time round and everyone was keen for the season to get under way.

He said there was encouraging signs with a number of juniors starting to come through the ranks.

Having missed finals last season, Batepola said that was the clear focus this time around.

The Burras start their season on Saturday in a one-dayer against reigning premiers Bacchus Marsh.

In other first round matches, Romsey hosts Wallan, Sunbury faces Sunbury United in the local derby and Woodend faces Gisborne.