Irvine is delighted to announce the signing of Sri Lankan Player/Coach, Sachin Jayawardena, for their 2024 Western District Cricket Union campaign.

Jayawardena is an accomplished Sri Lankan all-rounder who has enjoyed success, both at home in domestic cricket, and abroad with stints in both the UK and New Zealand.

A genuine all-rounder, Jayawardena bats in the top-order and bowls quality left-arm spin. After dominating for Wesley College and Bloomfield’s Under-23 side, he was rewarded with his first-class debut in March 2014 and has since played 82 matches across the three formats.

Leading into the 2018/19 season, his record failed to justify his undoubted talent, with only 1 first-class and 2 List-A fifties alongside 3 wickets (his best bowling figures of 3-24). However, he turned this around swiftly, with 3 first-class centuries in 2018/19, namely 109* (132 balls) against Panadura, 116 (167 balls) against Sri Lanka Air Force, and 165 (331 balls) against Police Sports Club, respectively. Jayawardena finished the season as the second-leading run-scorer on the Provincial (Tier B) run charts (661 runs at 60.09), narrowly behind fellow CricX star Damith Perera.

During the 2019/20 campaign, he reaffirmed his ability, with a further 234 runs at 23.40, alongside 13 wickets at 12.15 including his maiden first-class 5-wicket haul against SL Navy (5-45) amongst a match haul of 9-76).

The former Sri Lanka Under-19 squad member (2014) and Sri Lankan U23 “best all-rounder” (2015/16) recipient, has also impressed during his five stints abroad.

During his maiden UK stint for Drakes Huddersfield side Barkisland in 2019, he struck 751 runs at 35.76 and took 39 wickets at 22.28. The following two seasons (2021-22), he enjoyed further success for Cumbria Cricket League club Haverigg (1,210 runs at 31.03 and 78 wickets at 14.54), before another strong season with Walsden (2023) in the Lancashire League (620 runs at 34.44 and 37 wickets at 22.46)

Speaking about Sachin, Haverigg gave him rave reviews stating the following:

“He’s arguably been the best bowler in the league. There are two or three with more wickets than him, but he’s definitely the most threatening bowler in the league and he’s always bowling for us against the opposition’s better batters. I know one pro ahead of him is usually utilised to clean up the opposition’s tail”.

“His off-field stuff, with juniors, seniors, and his inclusion as part of our club/team ethos, has been exceptional. One of the lead junior coaches said he’s been the best and easiest he’s ever had to deal with and I believe he’s probably mixed and got involved the best out of every professional I’ve played with over the last 15 years at Haverigg”.

Sachin, who is currently playing for New Zealand club Taradale (Hawke’s Bay Cricket Association), will return to Northern shores for yet another stint in 2024, this time to play in Scotland’s WDCU (Western District Cricket Union) having signed as Player/Coach for Irvine Cricket Club in North Ayrshire.