Johannesburg - Jacques Faul, the Titans chief executive, could not have been happier when Graeme Smith retired from international cricket last week.
Smith’s surprise announcement left a vacancy in the list of nationally-contracted players, which was promptly filled by Knights all-rounder Dean Elgar.
Faul had just persuaded Elgar to move from Bloemfontein to Centurion and, in essence, would now be getting him for free because his salary would be covered by Cricket South Africa.
"Dean has signed for the Titans.
"He’s a gutsy, no-nonsense player and a good batter – exactly the kind of player we want," Faul said on Wednesday.
Elgar was not the only player on the Titans' shopping list.
"I can confirm that we are talking to Quinton de Kock's agent," said Faul.
He said the Titans had also opened preliminary negotiations with two high-profile Cape-based players, although he declined to name them.
The Knights' stocks would be further depleted being likely to lose two more senior players in Ryan McLaren and Johan van der Wath.
McLaren would be following former Knights team-mate Morne van Wyk to the Dolphins.
Van der Wath, in all likelihood, would be throwing his lot in with the Warriors, having become a free agent.
"Van der Wath hasn’t had his contract renewed by the board so he’ll be moving on," said Knights coach Sarel Cilliers.
He said the Knights were not in the market themselves – at least for the time being.
"We’re pleased with the development of players like Rudi Second and from a bowling point-of-view, Corne Dry, so I think next season is going to be one of building and consolidation for us.
"Obviously it’s a big blow losing a player like Dean but sometimes players stagnate a little and they need a different challenge."