VENTNOR have taken important steps to stabilise the cricket club following their disastrous 2019 season by signing a talented player-coach from Barbados.

Anthony Alleyne may not be a household name, but the 26-year-old, who played for Paignton, runners-up in the Devon Cricket League Premier last season, has chalked up more than 30 first class matches for Barbados and has played for the West Indies U19s.

In West Indian cricket, Alleyne hit a career best 186 against Trinidad and Tobago.

A qualified ECB Level 2 coach, Alleyne will play a leading role at senior and junior levels at the Isle of Wight club this coming season.

Last season was a nightmare for Ventnor, who lost their Southern League Premier Division 1 status after losing all 17 league matches.

Graham Burnett, who helped broker the deal to bring the big-hitting left-hander into the fold, was delighted by the appointment.

“We wanted an all-rounder. Anthony is a top order batsman and an off-spin/medium pace bowler, but is also a level 2 coach, which we needed at Ventnor,” he said.

“The deciding factors were getting someone in who could coach our seniors and juniors — and that the West Indies’ U19 coach recommended him.

“Anthony will fit in easily into our set-up.”

Alleyne, who will arrive on the Island just after Easter, scored three centuries in his final four matches for Paignton.

Ventnor have also recruited former Ventnor player, Ross Whyte, as their first team skipper for next season.

The son of a former captain, Mark Whyte, who led the Ventnor side during a successful period at Steephill, the 21-year-old all-rounder played for Lymington in recent seasons.

“Ross has returned to the club with great enthusiasm,” added Burnett.

“Last year was a very tough year for Ventnor, but by the time the new season starts, we should have more strength in depth.

“It was a massive loss losing our skipper, Chris Russell, for most of last season, but he will return to play for us next season.”

Highly-experienced batsman, Neil Westhorpe, who had been considering hanging up his boots, has also indicated he will continue to play for the first team.

Ventnor’s first match in Division 2 will be a home game against Fair Oak on Saturday, May 2.