Warwickshire have failed in an attempt to sign South African fast bowler Makhaya Ntini for the 2004 season.
Ntini took 23 England wickets in the recent Test series
The club's approach has been blocked by the United Cricket Board of South Africa, to whom Ntini is contracted.
Team-mate Shaun Pollock played at Edgbaston in 2002, after an agreement with the UCBSA to limit his workload.
But a Board spokesman said that because of the national team's heavy workload over the next few months, Ntini would need a break from the game.
"We received a request from Warwickshire to talk to Makhaya about him playing for them next summer and Makhaya had spoken to Gerald Majola about the request."
"As Makahya is a bowler who will have played virtually non-stop since our tour to Bangladesh in April 2003, it was felt that it was important for him to have a rest and so the request was turned down."
Ntini has taken 123 wickets in 36 Tests at an average of 29.69, including 23 scalps in this summer's series against England.
Warwickshire have had problems with overseas players this year because of injuries and Shane Bond, Michael Clark, Collins Obuya, Waqar Younis and Corey Collymore have all been on the staff.