Shepparton United Cricket Club has lost its most powerful and destructive batsman.
Former captain Josh Lawrence is moving away from Shepparton this year and will play closer to his new home.
Wangaratta District association club Yarrawonga-Mulwala has snapped up the Haisman Shield star, unveiling him as a signing at the weekend.
Lawrence said it made sense to play for a team closer to where he would be living, rather than travelling back to Shepparton.
‘‘We’re moving across that way. We’ve bought a block of land and I’m moving there with the family and hoping to have the house ready in September or October,’’ Lawrence said.
‘‘A job opportunity has come up over there with the council and we love holidaying over there, so we thought we’d make the move.’’
Lawrence departs United with the club in good shape, something you could not have said five years ago.
United has played finals for the past three seasons after breaking a long drought without post-season action in 2015.
The club has also featured in the past two one-day finals, losing both to Central Park-St Brendan’s.
Lawrence handed the captaincy to fellow star batsman Chris Rendina last season.
‘‘I’m sad we didn’t get to achieve the ultimate success while I was there, but the club is in a real good spot at the moment with plenty of good kids there,’’ Lawrence said.
‘‘It’s not just me that’s put the hard work in, I’ve had a lot of help from a lot of people and it’s been nice to achieve some things as a club during the last few years.
‘‘United has been very understanding of the move, but I might come back and play some Twenty20 games next season if things work out.’’
Lawrence has been one of Cricket Shepparton’s most consistent batsmen in the past five years and smashed 596 runs at an average of 42.6 in the Haisman Shield last season.