Vaughn van Jaarsveld's Warwickshire career would appear to be over almost before it has begun after he decided he would like to play for South Africa after all.
Van Jaarsveld, who in June signed a Kolpak deal that should have kept him at Edgbaston until the end of 2009, has now decided he will not be returning to Warwickshire.
Instead he intends to pursue his career with Gauteng. No doubt the end of the quota system in South Africa - the rule whereby teams must player a certain amount of non-white players - was a factor in his decision.
"It's a disappointing situation," Ashley Giles, Warwickshire's director of cricket said. "He's signed a contract - a lucrative one for a young guy - and we're paying him. He was in our plans but now he tells us he doesn't want to come back."
The news is a blow to Warwickshire. Though he had only played one List A game for the club, they had high hopes for 22-year-old Van Jaarsveld.
He impressed in the second XI championship (with six scores over 50 in 16 completed innings) and, had it not been for the tightened regulations governing selection of 'Kolpak' players, he would have played a great deal more first team cricket last season.
Former coach, Mark Greatbatch, described him as "much better" than any of the other emerging batsmen at Edgbaston.
The manner of van Jaarsveld announcement has not impressed, either.
He has failed to respond to calls from Giles or Warwickshire's chief executive Colin Povey and the club have, instead, dealt with officials from Gauteng.
Warwickshire are currently talking tough over Van Jaarsveld's "breach of contract."
Gauteng's current compensation offer is little short of derisory and Warwickshire are considering sending a representative to South Africa to resolve the situation.
In the end, however, it is likely that the club will simply let Van Jaarsveld go. Even if it were possible, there would be little point in dragging someone to club who does wish to be there.
Besides, the U-turn does not suggest van Jaarsveld is the sort of character with which the club want to do business. Indeed, it will cause some to question the wisdom of signing any sort of 'Kolpak' registered player.
It is worth reflecting on Van Jaarsveld's comments at the time of his signing. Asked whether he was simply using English cricket as a finishing school before reverting back to South Africa he replied: "That won't be happening. I've made my intentions clear. I'm here to qualify as an Englishman. I'm going to be spending at least 210 days a year here and the aim is to play for England.
"I don't feel disloyal. Why should I? I just want to play cricket at the highest level possible and there are more opportunities here."
That was June 15. It would appear that a great deal can change in five months. No doubt van Jaarsveld has been put under a great deal of pressure back in South Africa, but he does not emerge from the episode with his reputation enhanced.
He becomes the second of Greatbatch's mid-season panic acquisitions to leave the club without making a single first-class appearance. Nayan Doshi was the other. n Giles has been appointed spin bowling coach to England's Performance Programme squad.
The party - including Warwickshire's Jonathan Trott and Tim Ambrose as well as Worcestershire's Steven Davies and Moeen Ali - departs for a tour of India at the weekend.