Simon simply can't come
HE WAS the talk of Far North Coast cricket but it turns out West Indian Carl Simon will not bowl a ball here this summer.
A fast bowler, Simon was supposed to make his debut on Australian shores for Barlows Bolt Barn against Shaws Bay Hotel in the second round of the Ballina Twenty20 Premier League at Fripp Oval tonight.
Ballina Bears were also excited at the prospect of the 38-year-old lining up for them in the LJ Hooker League.
But visa problems have put an end to it all.
"There was a hold-up and we were hoping to get it sorted out before Christmas but that didn't end up happening," Bears club captain Shane Jacobs said.
"Hopefully we can still get Carl out here next year."
It is a big loss for Bears because Simon played 23 first-class games in the West Indies and took 60 wickets at an average of 31.
There is no doubting Bears' premiership prospects this season but an extra fast bowl-er would have given their bowling line-up added starch.
Jacobs remains buoyant despite missing out on the man he chased for weeks.
"We're still happy with the players we have," he said. "We've beaten Casino and Cudgen already this season."
Bears already have an international flavour with Sri Lankan Janith De Silva and Englishman George Flemming.
De Silva cracked 116 against Tintenbar-East Ballina last Saturday.
In the Bolt Barn v Shaws Bay Hotel Twenty20 match tonight at 7.15pm, Jacobs will take on his good mate Brett Crawford.
Crawford captains Tintenbar in the Hooker League and is also leading the Shawsy.
He and Jacobs were instrumental in setting up the Premier League, which is in its inaugural season.
"Brett and I played a lot of rep cricket together when we were younger and he's always very competitive," Jacobs said.
The Bolt Barn beat Davey Pumps by 11 runs in the first round of the competition but not without some nervous moments in the dying overs of Davey Pumps' run chase.
That is because Abe Crawford produced a dynamic 49 not out.
Davey Pumps take on Northern Star at 4.30pm today in the other match.
Star beat the Shawsy in the final over of a rain-reduced game in the first round with Liam Smith hitting a match-winning 47.
"We only got together 20 minutes beforehand to meet each other but we still managed to gel well," Smith said.
"We can't afford to let Abe Crawford get under the ball.
"I noticed he liked the ball coming on to him quickly. A good idea would be to slow things up so he has to try to make the shots."