Ballarat Cricket Association premiership favourites Darley has been dealt a major blow for its upcoming finals series.
The Lions will chase their maiden BCA first grade flag without leading batsman Danza Hyatt, who has been called up to represent the West Indies at a masters world cup tournament in India during March.
While he is away, Hyatt is expected to play alongside West Indies greats such as Brian Lara, Carl Hooper and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Darley coach Brian Wheelahan said the trip would rule out the club's star import for the entire finals campaign and admitted it was a huge loss to the senior squad.
"Our morale is up, it's definitely a body blow, but obviously we are looking forward to the challenge," he said.
"He's got an opportunity due to his performances to represent his country so he's definitely got our full support."
Wheelahan said Hyatt would be available for the upcoming two-day clash against Wendouree and the side's Twenty20 final against Mt Clear on March 1, but would then depart.
But he remains confident the star all-rounder will be back playing for the club next season.
Hyatt arrived at Darley for the second half of the 2018-19 campaign and still managed 527 first grade runs at an average in excess of 60.
He landed in Australia for round three this season and quickly set about stamping his dominance on the competition. So far he has made 560 runs at an average of 80 as the Lions have gone through the opening 13 matches unbeaten.
Hyatt also helped book the Lions a place in the T20 decider with a brilliant century in the semi-final against East Ballarat late last month.
Aside from his heroics with the bat, Hyatt is also a handy spin option for Darley and has taken five wickets so far this season.
After the battle with the Red Caps, the Lions are at home to Brown Hill in the last round before finals.