Settle Cricket Club Welcomes Professional Ashen Silva

Sri Lanka Batsman Set For Marshfield Debut 

In just over one months time Settle Cricket Club will start the new Ribblesdale League season at home to Padiham Cricket Club. The match will see Eddy Read and Oli Whyte return to Marshfield, whilst professional cricketer Ashen Silva is likely to make his first team debut for the club.

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Sri Lanka batsman Ashen Silva will have a joint role playing as the clubs professional and also working as a specialist cricket coach at Giggleswick School.  Silva played for the Sri Lanka Presidents XI against England has been playing in the Lancashire League with Great Harwood Cricket Club scoring over 3,000 runs in the last three seasons.

After winning the Ribblesdale League and Ramsbottom Cup double in 2017, the club last season finished third in the league and lost in the cup final to Padiham Cricket Club. The club Chairman Andrew Davidson said at the end of last season that the club had quite clearly missed a solid all round club professional, which the hopes to have addressed with the signing of Ashen Silva.

Chadwick Media this week caught up with Settle Cricket Club’s new professional cricketer Ashen Silva to talk about his career and new role as a specialist cricket coach.

INTERVIEW

Biggest influence on your cricket career?

I would have to say that two things have influenced my career, the first was Sri Lanka winning the 1996 Cricket World Cup against Australia, the victory attracted a lot of Sri Lankan’s to pick up a bat and bowl and enjoy the game of cricket.  Secondly my father influenced me a lot, he never played the game of cricket but he backed me all the way.

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What is your best cricket highlight

Again, I would have to say there are two career highlights so far, the first is being selected for the Sri Lanka test squad to play against Bangladesh (2013). The second would have to be winning the first class cricket championship last year.

Tell us about your cricket debut?

Like nearly every cricketer in Sri Lanka, I started my cricketing career at my school Maris Stella Catholic College in Negombo which was founded by the Marist Brothers in 1922. I made my first-class debut there in the 2010/11 season.  The college has since gone on to produce two other Sri Lanka players Dasun Shanaka and Dushmantha Chameeramade.

Toughest opponent you faced and why?

Toughest opponent I have faced would have to be England International James Anderson (The Burnley Express). He can swing the ball with decent pace at anytime during a match and he is now the third highest test wicket taker of all time with 575 wickets, he is simply unplayable.

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Best player you played with and why?

Best player I’ve played with is Sachithra Searasighe who is the professional cricketer at Bacup Cricket Club for this coming season. The way he makes runs is unbelievable, very easy on the eye, plus he plays really well under pressure.

Best player you played against and why?

Chamara Silva is the best player I have played against a top batsman who could dominate games and take on a bowling attack single-handed. An International cricketer he played in three Cricket World Cups Finals (2007,2009,2011) for Sri Lanka, but was a runner-up on all three occasions.  Silva is now playing his cricket with Panadura Cricket Club and is captain of the side.

Having spent three excellent seasons at Great Harwood scoring 3000 runs was it a difficult decision to leave and join Settle Cricket Club?

It was a difficult decision because I have made a home in Great Harwood. It is a great club with really nice people, but it’s my profession and sometimes you have to make those hard decisions. However am really looking forward to my next challenge with Settle Cricket Club and Giggleswick School.

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Whilst playing for Settle you will also be involved at Gigglewick school could you explain a little bit more about you role at the school?

It is a an exiting job, I will be a specialist cricket coach at Giggleswick School at the same time being the professional for Settle Cricket Club.  My role at the school is to look at the technical side of the players and develop them even further to play at the highest level.

Having played in the Ribblesdale League in the past could you tell us how you think Settle Cricket Club will do in the league and cups this season and do you think the club can win the Championship?

Settle Cricket Club are definitely title contenders, It’s a great team with some great young players especially this year with Eddy Read and Oli Whyte returning to the club. We just need to take it one game at a time and play to our potential.

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Selected to play for the Sri Lanka Board Presidents XI against England and scoring a fine 66 runs in the 1st innings could you tell us what it was like to be selected for the Presidents XI and secondly what it was like to play against an England side full of star names?

Yeah, I got the chance to play for the Presidents XI because of having a great run in the first-class season, I was over the moon.  At the time England were the world number one test team full of superstars. I was lucky enough to score 66 runs in the first innings against the likes of James Anderson, Steven Finn, Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar. It’s was a life lasting achievement for me.

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