RIBBLESDALE League side Settle have signed Ashen Silva as professional for the 2019 season.

The Sri Lankan all-rounder has spent the past three seasons with Great Harwood in the Lancashire League and scored more than 3,000 runs in his time with the club as well as taking 125 wickets.

Silva's move will also see him split coaching roles between his new club and the town's Giggleswick School.

Settle finished last season in third place and lost the Ramsbottom Cup final to Padiham and chairman Andrew Davidson hopes the signing of Silva can add some experience to the ranks.

He said: "There were games where we buckled and lacked that class, know-how, mental fortitude and professionalism to see the side home, Silva will gives us that next season.

"He will also give a presence in the dressing room and around the club and we want Ash to be a breath of fresh air and show what it means to be, and what should be expected of, a club professional.

"His work with our younger players will be vital to help them move from the junior ranks into our senior teams, and their careers in league cricket will be better for his input."

Davidson also believes the link-up with the school will prove beneficial to both parties and revealed that Silva's reputation as a coach was a major factor behind Settle seeking his signature.

"We have let the coaching side slip at senior level in recent seasons, mainly due to not having a proper cricket professional," Davidson added.

"Ashen's remit is to gel the team on the field by performing and giving advice and wisdom and to inject passion and enthusiasm into the coaching aspect of the club’s activities.

"We have always tried to find a pro who not only performs on the park but adds value off it, by leading on the coaching front.

"We were aware of Ashen's ability with both bat and ball, had heard he was a fantastic technical coach and excellent with the younger players.

"We also heard that he was available and so after extensive talks with Giggleswick School about sharing the professional, the opportunity to combine his duties as club professional and input with a supporting coaching role at the school, we put together an offer of a package which is quite rare as an offer to league club professionals.

"I would like to thank the school's headmaster Mark Turnbull and deputy Neil Gemmell plus the sports staff for being proactive, innovative and agreeing to this joint venture, which can only be good for both the club and the school."