GRAHAM Hume is looking forward to a new challenge after confirmation that the South African will move from Coleraine to become Director of Cricket at Waringstown next season.

Hume, one of the stars of the North West Warriors side for the last two seasons with both bat and ball, admits it was a huge wrench to leave Coleraine after four years as their overseas professional but could not turn down Waringstown’s approach.

“It was a very difficult decision. Coleraine have been great, looking after me for the last four seasons,” said Hume. “But it will also give me a better chance to compete for the biggest trophies going around. It’s always fun to win trophies.

“I don’t think I ever got past the second round in the Irish Cup at Coleraine, and with Waringstown’s record in the competition (record six-time winners) it would be nice to compete and try and win that.”

Playing for such a high-profile side will also do his Ireland ambitions no harm, “another reason for the move”, with Hume qualifying to play for his adopted country at the start of 2022.

His joining the exodus from the North West to NCU, following in the footsteps of Ireland internationals Craig Young, Stuart Thompson and even Boyd Rankin, who signed but did not play for Lisburn this year, will be a huge blow to North West Warriors as only Ireland-contracted players can choose which province they play for.

Hume has not got an Ireland contract so can play only for the Northern Knights, who will be further strengthened next year by Thompson and, possibly, Rankin as they did not have their international contracts renewed.

This year, in the Warriors’ limited programme — they played only five of their scheduled 10 games because of the weather and only one, a T20 match, went the distance — Hume still averaged 46 with the bat from five innings, and five of his six wickets with the ball were internationals Kevin O’Brien, James McCollum, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker and Curtis Campher.

Hume has been living in Northern Ireland with his girlfriend Jenna for the last two years, but with Andre Malan already signed by the Villagers as their professional for next season, Hume must play as a local.

He is in the process of applying for a spouse visa which would allow him to stay here for purposes unconnected with cricket and ensure he can play in the same team as his fellow South African.