WIMBORNE and Colehill chairman John Ridout said his club had "mixed feelings" about facing Sri Lankan Test star Aravinda de Silva.

The ex-World Cup winner made a surprise one-off appearance for Sherborne in their seven-wicket win at Hanhams on Saturday.

De Silva, named Wisden cricketer of the year in 1996, is believed to have been the first former Test player to grace the Dorset Funeral Plan League.

The 41-year-old scored 6,361 runs in 93 Tests and guided Sri Lanka to World Cup glory with a match-winning century against Australia 11 years ago.

De Silva, whose final Test appearance came in 2002, took two wickets and hit an unbeaten 39 as Sherborne eased to victory over Wimborne and Colehill.

Chairman Ridout said: "Our players were pleased to be playing against someone of that class but I think they would much rather have won the game and not played against him.

"Whereas most people struggled on a fairly green wicket, he batted with a bat which seemed to be three-feet wide!

"I think we would have been more pleased to see him playing against somebody else and would be quite happy if he played against a few more teams in our league but I think this will be his only game.

"We just happened to win the lucky' draw and get him in his one match. We wanted to win the game and somebody of that class makes a significant difference."

Ridout, who is also treasurer of the Dorset Cricket Board, Dorset Cricket Association and Dorset League, added: "From the league's perspective, it is good that somebody like that would want to play in Dorset. It is certainly a first because we've never had a player of that calibre play in the Dorset Funeral Plan League before."

De Silva, who has now returned to Sri Lanka, is a close friend of one of Sherborne's members and asked to play for them while he enjoyed a holiday in England.

Sherborne vice-captain James Elliot-Square said: "He hadn't played any cricket for a year and we contacted the league to make sure it would be okay for him to play and were told he could because he hadn't played any first-class cricket for three years.

"He didn't even have any kit but said he just wanted to play and we said he would be more than welcome.

"He is a really nice guy and was very humble.

"He bowled off-spinners and really showed his class on a difficult pitch to bat on. He scored 39 and never looked like he was going to get out.

"I think it's fantastic for the Dorset League to have had someone of that stature playing in the competition and we told him he was more than welcome to come back.

"It wasn't as if we put him in just because we wanted to win and Wimborne seemed happy enough.

"After all, it's not every day you get the chance to play against Aravinda de Silva."