Royals move for Samaraweera

Worcestershire have signed Sri Lanka Test batsman Thilan Samaraweera as their overseas player for the 2013 season.

Samaraweera, 36, has played 81 Tests and 53 one-day internationals and will be available for the whole summer campaign after retiring from limited overs cricket for his country.

Samaraweera replaces Phil Hughes who has regained his place in the Australian side after a successful spell at New Road last summer.

Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: "We have been searching for an overseas batsman once we realised Phil was not going to be available.

"Thilan has an average of over 48 in Test cricket which tells you a lot about his ability. He is available all season.

"He will also bring a wealth of experience which, in particular, will benefit our young batsmen."

Samaraweera said: "Playing county cricket has always been one of my long-term career ambitions.

"I look forward to repaying Worcestershire's faith in me by making significant contributions on the field this season."

Samaraweera is due to link up with the Royals in early April in time for the start of the season.