RISHTON Cricket Club have hastily snapped up new professional James Franklin after they had to withdraw their offer to a contract to Deon Kruis.
South African Kruis has been banned from playing cricket by the ECB following an alleged "practice ground incident" while a professional at Blackpool in the Northern League last season.
Rishton had already signed the 29-year-old before they heard of his ban and had to terminate his contract although Kruis is appealing.
"Deon knows our position and there are no bad feelings," said chairman Rod Simpson. "We gave him time to appeal but with the season being just a month away we have had to bring in someone else."
Franklin is a 24-year-old New Zealander who has played two Test matches and 24 one-day internationals. He plays for Wellington and, in first class cricket, has an unbeaten high score of 108 with the bat. He has scored 1388 runs in 62 innings, averaging 26.18.
He is a left arm fast medium bowler with 128 wickets averaging 24.59 in first class cricket with a best of 6-40. The New Zealander will come under an Irish passport.