EARBY Cricket Club has signed Sri Lankan under-19 star Ashen Bandara for its 2019 Ribblesdale League campaign.

Bandara, 19, is one of Sri Lanka’s hottest prospects. A genuine all-rounder, Bandara has been destined for great things, following a glittering junior career.

A schoolboy prodigy, he starred for St Aloysius’ College in Galle and excelled for the Sri Lankan under-19s before making a huge impression on the professional circuit, in first-class, List A and T20 domestic cricket.

Having made his respective white ball debut’s in January 2016 (T20) and March 2018 (List A), Bandara was rewarded with his first-class debut in February 2018. He impressed, hitting a brilliant 87 not out in his debut innings for Saracens in Sri Lanka’s Premier Tournament (Tier A).

He earned his professional debut, following a long stint with the national under-19s.

Bandara featured for Sri Lanka in 33 matches (five Tests, 28 Youth ODI’s). During this period, he toured South Africa, England, Australia, Malaysia and New Zealand – the latter for the 2017/18 ICC under-19 World Cup (he averaged 37.88 with the bat).

Bandara has impressed at every level to date and looks set for a huge career in the game.

Speaking about the signing, Earby spokesman Lee Parkinson said: "We are absolutely delighted that Ashen has agreed to come and play for Earby CC in 2019.

"We have received some very positive feedback from contacts in Sri Lanka who have backed up the information provided by CricX, stating that Ashen is a hot prospect and is very well thought of in Sri Lankan cricket.

"We would just like to place on record our thanks and gratitude to Steven and the team at CricX for all the help and support they have provided us in our search for a professional for the 2019 season.

"It’s an exciting time for Earby Cricket Club and we are extremely pleased to have secured Ashen’s services."