Mitchell Johnson will no longer be joining Durham for the Twenty20 campaign following a recall to the Australia one-day international squad.
The 30-year-old was lined up as one of two overseas signings for the county along with veteran South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs.
Australia are to play England at Durham's Emirates ICG in September.
Selector John Inverarity said: "Johnson is in contention for the World Twenty20 and needs some quality cricket."
Durham's still have the option to bring in a replacement before the county T20 tournament starts on 15 June.
"It's very disappointing for us as a club, we were looking forward to having someone of his stature around." head coach Geoff Cook told BBC Newcastle.
"It's a matter of shuffling a few papers around, see where the tours are, see who's likely to be available.
"As a principle we're still looking to sign someone as long as they are of the right quality."