It's been a great start to the season for Burndennett all-rounder Salman Ahmed. The 30 year-old Indian all-rounder has been a revelation for the club, transforming them from a struggling outfit into the league leaders at the half-way stage of the campaign.

He has scored exactly 600 runs at an average of 66.67, with two centuries aagainst St Johnston and Ardmore. In addition he has taken 21 wicket at just over 13 which includes two five-wicket hauls in his last two games against Newbuildings and Fox Lodge.

Ahmed, who hails from Mumbai has been helped with his previous experience having played in Newcastle in the 2018 season where he did really well.

"I didn't know about Irish cricket but when the opportunity arose to play here I thought why not," said Ahmed. "My uncle Iqbal Siddiqui played for Glendermott in the 90's so there is a bit of history there.

"The conditions in Ireland are obviously a bit different to India, and it's been really cold. But I've adapted and while the pitches are slow and a challenge, I've adapted. The weather and pitches sometimes aren't the best for batting, but Im also a swing bowler so these are ideal for me.

"Being an all-rounder if you fail in one aspect you have the chance to make up for it in the other department. That's how it has worked out for me so far and I've managed to make a significant contribution in most if not all our games.

"I've been helped by the fact that I've settled so quickly over here with the people being so friendly and welcoming. I'm staying with Eileen Boyle from the club and she and everyone have been so good to me and taking great care. The cuisine in Ireland is certainly different to India but it's something new and I'm really enjoying it.

"Burndennett has never played Premiership cricket but this year the season is going really well and we have a great opportunity to put that right. I've been impressed by the attitude of the team, with the batting doing really well and a very experienced bowling attack with Stephen McCay and Mark Roulston.

Club stalwart Kevin Logue outlined just how the arrival of Salman has transformed the side. "

With Sal here everyone is trying that little bit harder. They are showing great determination and application when batting and everybody is really working hard on their game.

With promotion proving something of a poisoned chalice to teams in the past, where there any thoughts of turning it down if they are successful?

We have never been there, so I feel we have to give it a go and see what happens. We won't be the only team to go up and down. There is a great buzz around the place at the minute and hopefully the second half of the season goes as well as the first."