NCU Premier League champions and Irish Cup holders Waringstown have signed Cobus Pienaar as their overseas professional for 2016.
The highly-rated 30-year-old South African all-rounder, who has just been appointed captain of the Northerns first-class side, is a left-handed batsman and fast-medium bowler.
Pienaar is a former team-mate and friend of JP de Villiers, the fast bowler who won the man-of-the-match award for Waringstown in the Irish Cup final.
Pienaar also has experience in the tough South African franchise competition with the Titans.
Waringstown captain Lee Nelson said: “I’m delighted to welcome Cobus Pienaar to the club.
“We have tracked Cobus for quite some time and to be able to get him on board is a fantastic boost. Cobus is a very good friend of JP De Villiers who did so well for us at the end of last year and helped us in securing the deal.
“It’s now important that we try to push things on to another level and the signing of Cobus should help us in achieving that. I would thank Gary Hunt at Cric Intro for all his help in signing both JP and Cobus.”
Nelson paid tribute to Ruhan Pretorius, who played a crucial role in Waringstown’s double success in 2015.
“Ruhan did a great job for us with bat and ball and we wish him all the best in the future,” Nelson added.
“Looking ahead, Cobus has been made captain of Northerns so he should be able to help myself and coach Simon Johnston, and help with the development of our young players.”
Pienaar, one of at least five South Africans in the NCU next season, said: “I am very excited to become part of Waringstown CC. By all accounts it is a great set-up with quality people involved. I have been fortunate to play for Lowerhouse CC in Lancashire the last two seasons.
“Our family is looking forward to the challenge and making new friends in a different part of the world.”