Weraroa Cricket Club's import player Daniel Williams has made a dash home by booking a last-minute flight so he can be back at home with family in England.
The 25-year-old, who was currently 70 not out in a senior club match, was originally due to fly home mid-April.
But with uncertainty around international travel and restrictions he thought it wise to leave while the going was good and reunite with elderly members of his family in Leeds.
The Weraroa club scrambled together on Sunday night for a couple of farewell drinks and fish 'n' chips to thank Williams for his efforts in playing and holding training camps throughout the summer for young players.
The next morning he was on the plane. The only seat available was business class, so he stumped up for the cost of the fare.
"It's a big cost, but it was today or nothing...otherwise I might not have got out. You just don't know," he said from the airport before leaving.
As a result of the hasty departure, Williams would forever be on 70 not out in Weraroa's two-day club match against Paraparaumu and will have to forfeit his innings.
Williams had done a fine job with a host of young players in all age groups, holding weekly training sessions and umpiring matches.
The allrounder had joined Weraroa as a player and new Junior Development Coach and performed a range of coaching roles within the club over the summer since arriving in September.
Williams was a Level 2 UK cricket coach and has a Bachelor of Science degree from Leeds Beckett University in Sports Coaching BSc, and had previously worked with the Cheshire Cricket Board as a contracted coach.
There he coached district and minor county teams and worked with regional schools and colleges.
Williams said he had enjoyed his stay in Levin. At this stage he was unsure whether he would be returning next summer.