Lisburn have been dealt a blow ahead of the new cricket season after South African professional Heinrich Klaasen pulled out of his move to Wallace Park.

The highly-rated 24-year-old has a knee problem which will require treatment during the South African off-season and his franchise, the Titans, are refusing to release him.

Klaasen had been signed as a replacement for his compatriot Darryl Brown and has a huge domestic pedigree. He averages more than 50 with the bat in first-class cricket.

A Lisburn spokesman said: “Obviously the club is very disappointed to learn that Heinrich will not be joining us, particularly with the new season not too far away.

“The club is now looking at alternative professionals.”

Lisburn is under the new captaincy of Adam Berry for the 2016 season.