In what is the biggest piece of news so far during this off-season, it has been confirmed that overseas professional Andre Malan won’t be returning to CSNI for a third campaign in 2020.
The South African had set the NCU alight with his performances in both 2018 and 2019, helping the Stormont club reach the Gallagher Challenge Cup final in his first campaign after scoring 940 runs and taking 43 wickets.
Malan was somehow even more impressive last season, topping the NCU run charts with 1238 at an average of 65.16 and again picked up over 40 wickets.
Over those two campaigns, Malan scored eight centuries and 10 half-centuries.
The 28-year-old who captains Western Province in his homeland is still keen to return to the United Kingdom next season at a different location.
Malan has been in fine form during the South African domestic season and took a five-wicket haul against Border on Sunday.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Belfast and at CSNI this past two seasons,” said Malan.
“I made friends for life and spent everyday in awe of the beauty of Stormont and the rest Northern Ireland had to offer.
“I am eternally grateful to each and every person that showed me and my wife love and compassion whilst becoming accustomed to living abroad.
“I am very proud of my performances for CSNI and playing with a potentially season-ending injury (dislocated my AC joint start of June which resulted in a sprained AC joint which has a minimum of 8 weeks required rehab) for more than half of the season hopefully showed my commitment to the team and CSNI as a club.
“I never considered any other options but to return home to CSNI come 2020, but it pans out that I am not in the club’s future plans.
“So at this stage I have to wrap my head around not being able to return to CSNI and being out of a job for next year.
“Hopefully there is a club or two out there that might value my services come 2020.”
CSNI will now have to adjust to life without Malan and Gary Wilson praised the impact he had during his two seasons with the club.
“The club would like to go on record and thank Andre for everything he has done over the past two years,” said Wilson.
“There is little doubt that he was one of the best players in Ireland last year and I have no doubt that he will continue to have a successful career.
“Everyone at CSNI enjoyed having him around. The club are looking to go in a slightly different direction next year with coaching very much at the forefront and we will be looking to recruit accordingly. Andre was superb for us.
“The club would like to go on record and thank him for that.”