DARWEN have lost their professional Jonathan Carter - but the Birch Hall outfit have moved quickly to snare impressive South African Alan Kruger as replacement ahead of the Northern League season.

The Towers had signed Barbados ace Carter as paid man and big things were expected of the all-rounder.

But Carter has been told he will be playing in the West Indian domestic T20 in July and August meaning his Darwen commitments would be severely hampered.

As a result, the locals turned to Kruger, who was professional at Blackburn Northern in 2006.

Kruger will be led by a different skipper after John Cordingley decided to step down after three years in charge but the outgoing captain said: “We are disappointed to lose Jonathan because he looked a good player.

“But it is good to get Alan sorted out quickly and well ahead of the season.”

Of his decision to stand down as skipper Cordingley added: “I have done it for three years.

“It takes a lot of time and I am happy to let someone else take the reigns.”

Darwen are due to announce Cordingley’s successor this week.