Fleetwood’s record-breaking cricketer Travis Dean has become an Australian A-lister.
The all-rounder will leave the Northern Premier League club in July after being called up to the Australian A squad.
Dean has made a massive impression since joining Fleetwood this season, not least his jaw-dropping innings in the win at Kendal last weekend.
The opener’s 176 not out from 158 balls was the highest score at the Shap Road ground and was described as the work of a “genius” batsman by Fleetwood skipper Mat Clark, who hailed it the best innings he had ever seen.
Clark said: “It wasn’t as if it was a murderous assault or anything like that. It was well planned and worked out.
“After he hit the ball straight, Kendal would change the field and move a man to that position, so Travis would change his approach and hit it to third man or another place where he’d seen a gap.
“I have never seen an innings like it playing for Fleetwood. He was playing it to all four corners of the ground. He is a genius.
“We thought Travis would be good even before he joined us . Over 800 runs in the Sheffield Shield tells you everything that you want to know.
“We won’t now be getting him for the full season and he will leave us in July – we are not quite sure when – because he has been called up by Australia A.
“We are just glad to have him for as long as we can and of course he will leave with all our best wishes.
“In the meantime, we will use his experience to pass on his knowledge to our young players.
“We are not planning to bring in another professional after Travis goes.
“We have to make the most of him for the three months he is here.”
Australia A will play South Africa A in two four-day Tests in Brisbane and Townsville in early August.
They will then be joined by Cricket Australia’s national performance squad for a four-sided 50-over competition.
Second-placed Fleetwood face a double-header this weekend.
They are at home to Penrith tomorrow in the league and entertain Morecambe in the Lancashire Cup on Sunday.
There will be at least one change to the Fleetwood Saturday team.
Kieran McGann, who figured in a game-changing last-wicket partnership of 120 with Dean at Shap, is not available and his place goes to Tom Wilson.
Blackpool too are in Sunday knockout action at Clitheroe but are without a league game tomorrow, meaning they are likely to drop out of the top three.
Fleetwood’s Sunday opponents Morecambe head to St Annes in the league tomorrow. Matthew Grindley’s Vernon Road club are bidding to build on last weekend’s first win of the season at Darwen.
Northern Premier Cricket League first division: Fleetwood v Penrith, Lancaster v Darwen, Leyland v Barrow, Netherfield v Chorley, Preston v Kendal, St Annes v Morecambe
Liverpool & District Competition Moore & Smalley SE+ Palace Shield
Premier Division: Freckleton v Whittingham & Goosnargh, Fulwood & Broughton v Penwortham, Garstang v Longridge, Great Eccleston v Croston, Thornton Cleveleys v Fylde, Torrisholme v Vernon Carus
Division One: BAC/EE Preston v Fulwood & Broughton 2, Eccleston v Hoghton, Kirkham & Wesham v White Coppice, Longridge 2 v Garstang 2, Vernon Crus 2 v Norcross, Withnell Fold v Rufford
Division Two: Tarleton v South Shore, Wrea Green v Thornton Cleveleys 2
LCB Knockout Cup: Clitheroe v Blackpool, Fleetwood v Morecambe, Freckleton Northern, Garstang v Glossop, Monton&Weaste v Great Eccleston