New regulations on overseas professionals have forced NCU Premier League side Muckamore to switch their choice of pro for the 2017 season.
The Moylena club had intended to bring Avadhoot Dandekar back to the club this summer after he led their promotion charge from Section One last summer.
But the regulation change from the UK Borders Agency, which have caused complications for clubs across Northern Ireland, and particularly in the North West, meant Dandekar wouldn’t have been eligible to play top-flight cricket in the NCU.
Instead, Muckamore have swooped to sign Kasigo Rapulana, a South African top-order batsman and spin bowler.
Captain Neil Gill said Muckamore appear to have been the only Premier League club affected by the new laws. He has helped Dandekar secure a move to an as yet unnamed Section One club.
Gill said: “Obviously the timing wasn’t ideal with us having agreed a contract with ‘Av’, and we thought we had our squad sorted but we have been lucky to have found a suitable replacement in Kasigo ‘Jonty’ Rapulana.
“He captains province North West and has recently played for the Lions in franchise cricket. He is a top-order batsman and will bowl spin for us, he’s also very keen on coaching which is a must for us as he will be kept busy going into schools and working with juniors at the club as well as assisting first eleven coach Ryan Haire.”
Rapulana has played 61 first-class matches and has made more than 2,000 runs at an average of more than 23. He has also taken 24 wickets at an average of less than 28.
It is also believed Mansoor Amjad, the Pakistan all-rounder, is returning to Civil Service North for a third successive summer.
Waringstown are thought to have agreed a deal for Shaheen Khan to return to The Lawn subject to clearance from Cricket Ireland. The South African all-rounder played for the villagers in the 2014 season.