SRI Lankan all-rounder Roy Silva will be Accrington Cricket Club’s new professional next season.
And the cash-strapped club have also been given a boost with the award of a grant of more than £6,000 to help their junior section.
Silva, 27, will be the first Sri Lankan professional in the club’s 162-year history.
He plays for Moors Sports Club in Sri Lanka and comes highly recommended by his agent Gary Hunt and two of his team-mates who are familiar names in league circles - his captain, the former Church professional, Ruvin Peiris and Ashton paid man Anil Rideegammanaged-era.
"It is always a relief to sign a professional," said chairman Peter Barratt with Silva taking over from Nishit Shetty. "We have had to cut back this year with the finances but we hope we have picked a good Sri Lankan. Ruvin said he is a good lad and hopefully he will come up the goods."
They also have ex-England batsman Graham Lloyd and Jimmy Hayhurst back at the club this summer.
"After our problems with finances last year, it all seems to have come together," continued the chairman.
"All the members have rallied around and we have picked up off the pitch - hopefully we will pick up on the pitch."
Silva has scored 2063 runs at 24.8 since making his debut for Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club in 2001 with a top score of 171.
Last season, the right hander opened the batting for his club but the opportunities to bowl were more limited.
Silva's best bowling is 7-41 and he has scored three first-class hundreds and eight half centuries in 56 matches.
Silva has returned a signed contract which was rubber stamped by Accrington’s Management Comm-ittee.
Meanwhile, the club’s junior section has been awarded a grant of £6,364 from the Community Foundation for Merseyside.
The cash will be used for junior coaching and the purchase of new equipment including nets, covers for the wickets, a water hog and various coaching aids.