EAST Albury has been dealt a blow with confirmation English all-rounder Tom Wells won’t be available for the finals.
Wells, who re-joined the Crows for the new year, will head back to England in mid-March for the start of the County season.
The Leicestershire all-rounder has taken nine wickets in his two appearances since returning to the Border.
However, Crows’ skipper Joel Shepherd said the news came as no shock to the club.
“We knew all along it was going to happen,” Shepherd said.
“The same thing happened last year.”
Wells, 20, played five first-class matches for Leicestershire last year after making 420 runs at an average of 60 for East Albury last season.
He also took 14 wickets, so his early departure is far from ideal for the Crows.
The club is on top of the ladder and firming as one of Cricket Albury-Wodonga’s premiership favourites after a strong start to the season.
Wells isn’t the only Crows’ import who will miss part of the season.
Fellow all-rounder Paul Connolly is about to head to Malaysia on national duty for Jersey, though is expected to return in time for the finals.
Jersey, a British dependency in the English Channel, will compete against the likes of Malaysia, Nigeria and the Cayman Islands in division 5 of the World Cricket League.
“Connolly’s only gone for a couple of weeks at the end of the month,” Shepherd said.
“He’ll come back.”
Shepherd, meanwhile, was rapt with the Crows’ weekend performance as they crushed Tallangatta by seven wickets.
East Albury coach James McNeil, recently named in the All-Australian Country team, belted 121 to spearhead the easy victory.
It was his first century since returning to Alexandra Park.
“It was definitely a well-deserved century,” Shepherd said.
“He worked hard.
“We were very happy with that win — the top order got off to a good start and took care of it from there.”