Todmorden sign Sri Lankan

Ruhuna's bowler Alankara Asanka Silva reacts after taking the wicket of Leicestershire player Wayne White during the Champion League Twenty20 qualifying cricket match between Ruhuna and Leicestershire in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)
Ruhuna's bowler Alankara Asanka Silva reacts after taking the wicket of Leicestershire player Wayne White during the Champion League Twenty20 qualifying cricket match between Ruhuna and Leicestershire in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

Todmorden have announced the capture of experienced all-rounder Alankara Asanka Silva as their professional for 2019.

The 33-year-old is captain of Badureliya Sports Club in the top level of domestic cricket in Sri Lanka and has taken more than 300 first class wickets and scored more than 3,000 first class runs as well as playing for Sri Lanka A.

Alankara will be making a first trip to England but the Centre Vale club, currently awaiting approval for his visa, hope he will be able to play in the club’s pre-season fixture at St Annes on April 13.

Todmorden announced last week that ex-England player Chris Schofield would be playing as an amateur this year and they will be hoping that the addition of Alankara will make them ultra-competitive in the top divgision of a new two-section set-up.

Alankara will be Tod’s fourth Sri Lanka pro, after Ravi Ratnayake in 1989, Chintha Jayasinghe in 2009 and Geeth Alwis in 2013, and will be one of at least half a dozen Sri Lankans playing in the Lancashire League this season. The others include Umesh Karunaratne, a standing dish at Tod’s local rivals Walsden.

While primarily a spin bowler throughout his career, Alankara has hit form with the bat recently.

Promoted to opener, he powered past 500 runs in his first nine innings this season with a top score of 151. He has also taken 115 wickets at an average 25.00 over the last three seasons.

Alankara will also be putting his knowledge to good effect in helping to coach Tod’s juniors twice a week.