Derbyshire are getting 'one of the world's nice guys and an outstanding cricketer' in Daryn Smit (pictured, taking slip catch) according to Ramsbottom Cricket Club's Director of Cricket, Andy Dalby.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Andy earlier today and he was effusive in his praise for Daryn, who has joined the club on a two-year contract.
'Daryn and his wife Sarah have become close personal friends', he said 'and the loss to our club and to the community is massive. They both threw themselves into the club and, while we all wish them well, they will be sorely missed'.
So what is Daryn like?
'A genuine guy who has time for everyone - senior players, kids, parents, the lot - with none of the edges that you sometimes get from a highly-talented sportsman. It wasn't just his performances that made a difference, astonishing as they have been, but the way in which he almost single-handed brought together the club and everyone in it. He is a very special man.'
It sounds like we have picked up Wayne Madsen mark 2 and Andy was quick to draw parallels between the two.
'Daryn and Wayne are good friends and in fact we were set to offer Wayne professional terms a few years ago. Then he was offered a deal by Derbyshire and the rest is history. He had got a lot of runs in the Central Lancashire League and was very much like Daryn in his approach to the game and in his interaction with those around him.'
It is quite clear that there is a sizeable hole to be filled by the club, but Andy, like many others on Twitter today, was only surprised that the offer took so long.
'We were amazed that no one came in for him before', he said, 'as the stats he has returned here have been phenomenal. Every other club looked at the upcoming game against Ramsbottom and knew they were in for a tough match. When he scored 200 last year for the Derbyshire second team we were resigned to losing him, but then the months went by and we were hoping to have another season from him.'
So what can Derbyshire supporters expect from the new signing? Andy's response is quick.
'He is a very good bowler, turns it and is very accurate. He bowled in the Champions League T20, has got his share of first-class wickets and was a real handful for most league batsmen. But he's an even better wicket-keeper, probably as good as I have seen, and doesn't miss anything. Mind you, his batting is better still! He is just a run machine and goes in every game with the same mindset. You very rarely see him give it away and he is an exemplary professional. If you want someone to dig in, he will do that. If you need quick runs, he is a tremendous finisher of an innings'.
Are there any particular memories you have of him on the field?
'There are probably too many to put down on paper. However, perhaps my fondest memory was a game against Lowerhouse in 2015.
They had a bowling pro, so it was a real battle and a great spectacle!'
He won us that game single-handed, when we had no right to do so. At something like 50-5 we dug in and batted around Daz, knocking off a competitive 190-odd on a bowler friendly surface. Daz carried his bat for 90 odd not out!
How does he rank among the club's greats of the past? Again, Andy's response was unequivocal.
'When you look back at the greats who have played here, comparisons are difficult. We have had Michael Clarke, Ian Chappell, Seymour Nurse, Clive Rice, Peter Philpott, Brad Hodge - some of the legends of the game. Yet the figures that Daryn has produced dwarf them all.
If you were to try and encapsulate everything you hoped for in a professional cricketer into one player, then you have it in Daryn Smit. He has the talent, the attitude, the personality and the sheer professionalism that you would want. I don't expect to see anyone better. As good, maybe - but it would be hard to beat his contribution to our club'.
So how do you replace him?
'Well, we've got an offer on the table for someone and again, the measure of the man is that Daryn has helped in that regard too. He was concerned at leaving us at short notice, but he goes with our blessing and best wishes.
We all intend to come to see him when we can through the season, so it might just put a few more on the gate at Derbyshire games!'
I look forward to meeting up with Andy and the Ramsbottom boys in the months ahead and I will continue to look out for their results - just as they will have one eye on the Acre Bottom scoreboard and another on wherever Derbyshire are playing this summer.