North Down have released Ruhan Pretorius from his contractual obligations.
The Comber side issued the following statement on their Facebook page on Monday afternoon.
"The Club Executive Committee has today released Ruhan from his contractual obligations for 2020/21.
"Over the past four years Ruhan has turned in consistently high performances for the 1st XI, scoring over 4000 runs and taking over 100 wickets and culminating in the team winning the Robinson Services League Cup in September.
"He has also played an important role in the continued growth of our vibrant Youth section, helping to plan and run many successful practice sessions and training camps.
"We would like to wish Ruhan all the best in his future endeavours, both on and off the field, in particularly in his quest to represent Cricket Ireland."
The news came as a bombshell to the South African, who told the News Letter: "This has come from nowhere and I feel angry and upset. I'm trying to sort out my life here as I have been left in the dark right before Christmas."
North Down, like all clubs, are operating in tough financial conditions with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. They have also Paul Stirling and Craig Young on their books.