Great Harwood have swooped to sign highly-rated South African Tiaan Cloete as professional.

The 23-year-old, a team-mate of East Lancashire paid man Ockert Erasmus and Nelson’s Ryan Canning back home, is a left-arm spinner and left-hand batsman who made a career best score of 121 against KwaZulu-Natal Inland in October last year.

It is his first time in the UK and Houldsworth Solicitors Ribblesdale League outfit Harwood had to fight off the attentions of several other clubs to secure his signature.

That delights chairman Russell Whalley, who said: “We were delighted to secure Tiaan’s services in front of a number of other interested parties.

“Tiaan is a different player to recent professionals at Great Harwood and we hope that he will work with our existing coaching staff and players to develop all aspects of the club both on and off the field.”

Cloete, who is a graduate of the Cape Town Academy, replaces Syed Shahabuddin at The Cliffe.

Meanwhile, Harwood hold the club’s annual general meeting on February 12 and among the items on the agenda are proposals for the continued development of the playing facilities at the club.