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Big game . . . North Otago cricketer Francois Mostert enjoys a spot of eland (antelope) hunting in Limpopo, in the northern part of South Africa. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The return of the king – part six.

Good news, cricket fans: star import Francois Mostert will be back in North Otago for a sixth summer.

Mostert is back home in South Africa for the New Zealand winter but will return to Oamaru in a couple of months once he has his visa sorted.

The outstanding all-rounder will resume his playing and coaching duties for the North Otago Cricket Association, and also coach and play for the Waitaki Boys’ High School First XI.

“New challenges and new opportunities ahead,” Mostert told the Oamaru Mail in an email.

“That always keeps me excited.”

Mostert did not go into specifics but confirmed he had opportunities to play elsewhere in New Zealand.

Thankfully, the strong relationship between player and association, and the enjoyment he gets from working and playing in North Otago, convinced him to come back.

While he is a humble man off the field, and does not make bold predictions about his own performances, he confirmed there was one major goal he had next summer.

“Personally, I would like to see the Hawke Cup again.”

Mostert has been making the most of some time back in Pretoria and Centurion, giving him a chance to recharge body and mind after a steady diet of cricket in recent years.

“I’ve been on a farm for most of the time, doing some hunting,” he said.

“Other than that, I haven’t trained since April. I’m loving the break.”

Mostert will have the opportunity to add to a remarkable North Otago record – he has 156 wickets (at 10.61) and 1272 runs (at 39.75) from 29 games – and may also finally get a chance to play for the Volts.

For North Otago cricket boss Peter Cameron, offering Mostert another season in the province was a no-brainer.

“Having a continuity of coaching makes a huge difference,” Cameron said.

“He understands what is expected of him in a coaching role, and he’s also an exceptional cricketer.”