NCU Premier League club Waringstown have confirmed the re-signing of the prolific South African professional Obus Pienaar.
The 22-year-old all-rounder, whose record-breaking exploits captured the imagination of cricket lovers across the country in 2011, will be returning to The Lawn next April.
Pienaar had been due back at Waringstown last summer but a long-standing back injury prevented him travelling to Northern Ireland.
Captain Kyle McCallan told the News Letter that Pienaar had signed on the dotted line for the villagers.
He will replace compatriot Glen Addicott, who himself scored almost 1,000 runs last season.
McCallan said: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome back Obus. He made such an impact in Irish cricket during the 2010 season and it will be wonderful to have him back with us for the 2013 campaign.
“Injury prevented him returning last season and everyone at Waringstown, and indeed cricket in general, will be excited that he’s coming back.
“Obus is a wonderful batsman and fine bowler, a popular figure in the dressing room and an excellent role model.”
McCallan also paid tribute to Addicott, who he predicted would attract considerable interest across Ireland.
He added: “I would like to thank Glen Addicott for the outstanding service he gave to Waringstown Cricket Club last season.
“He was a model professional and but for the fact that we had the opportunity to bring Obus back to the club, we would have re-signed him.
“I’m sure he will have no shortage of offers. We wish him all the best for the future.”
Pienaar re-wrote the record books in 2011. He beat the record individual score in NCU Premier League history, smashing 244 against CIYMS at The Lawn.
He totalled 800 runs in just 10 NCU innings, hitting three centuries and three fifties at an average of 80.
He left Waringstown in late July for a South African Emerging Players tour of Australia, but the villagers still went on to clinch a double of NCU Challenge Cup and Bob Kerr Irish Cup.
Pienaar is Waringstown’s second major capture of the winter, with Greg Thompson already having joined from Lisburn.