GREAT Harwood Cricket Club have had to launch a last minute hunt for a new professional after losing West Indies star Dwayne Smith this week.
The Ribblesdale League season starts a week on Saturday but the youngster has now signed a central contract with the West Indies Cricket Board.
It was a hard decision for the 22-year-old who is one of most highly thought of players in West Indies team.
But, following all the recent troubles with the sponsorship row in his homeland, Smith did not feel able to come over after the Cricket Board showed faith in him and offered him a new central contract.
Smith, though, has been helpful in finding a replacement and Harwood are confident at having someone in place for their opening game at Settle.
"It is an absolute nightmare," said Harwood captain Russell Whalley.
"Everyone was looking forward to having a current Test star playing here.
"He is on the up and everyone has been talking about it.
"I think a lot of teams in the league were also looking forward to playing against him and watching him play.
"He would have made it an entertaining summer and so to lose him so late is an absolute nightmare."