Workington Cricket Club has appointed a new professional for 2020 after soldiering on throughout last season without one.

Savin Gunasekera, a 23-year-old top order batsman who is also an off-spin bowler will be here in April for the start of the Cumbria League season.

Twelve months ago Workington signed a fellow Sri Lankan, Sangeeth Cooray but he gave back word when called up to a Sri Lanka A tour to India.

The Valentine Ground club considered a replacement professional, and on a couple of occasions, did hire a sub pro but for the bulk of the season were without one.

Matthew Lowden, who took over the captaincy towards the end of the season after Robbie Lambert moved to take a teaching appointment overseas, has been overseeing the current recruitment.

He said: “It will be the first time that Savin has been to the UK but he is keen to further his career over here and has been well recommended.

“We have the final paperwork to sign but he will be coming as a player and coach, and we are looking forward to him joining the club and making his mark in the League.

”He’s averaging 40 at first class level in Sri Lanka and is keen, and adamant that he will add some much needed runs to the top of our batting order which will allow us to be a stronger team and more competitive in the hunt for silverware.”

Gunasekera hails from Colombo and he made his List A debut for Sri Lanka Navy Sports Club in the 2017-18 season.

Lowden, who is expected to be named skipper for the 2020 season at the AGM in February, was Workington’s leading wicket-taker last season.

He took 39 League wickets at a cost of 14.39 and put in more overs (204.3) than any other first team bowler. Adam Chamber (30 wickets) topped the bowling averages on 13.48.

Young opener Grant Reid scored most runs for the first team (423) with an average of 26.43 but it was big-hitting amateur Kiwi Simon Beare who topped the batting averages.

He hit 286 runs from nine innings with an average of 47.66.

Meanwhile, Workington’s long-serving groundsman Ken Reid is leaving the manual side of the job to others and taking on a more advisory role.

He has held the position for many years and is held in high regard, both in the club and in cricket in general, throughout the county.

Lowden said: “A lot of hard work is going on from Paul Jackson, Gavin Scott, Keith Miller and Malcolm Wood in terms of looking after the ground and preparing the wickets now that Ken has stepped back.”