Worcestershire sign Ben Scott on loan
Worcestershire have signed Ben Scott, the 28-year-old wicketkeeper, on loan from Middlesex. He will arrive at New Road at the beginning of next season for a minimum of four weeks to fill in for Ben Cox, Worcester's 17-year-old first-choice keeper, while Cox completes his A-Levels.
Angus Fraser, the Middlesex director of cricket, said the move was instigated by Worcestershire and suited both the clubs and Scott himself.
"Worcestershire have a young keeper who they regard highly, but educational commitments mean that he is unavailable until the end of June 2010, a situation that encouraged Steven Rhodes, Worcestershire's director of cricket, to contact me about the availability of one of Middlesex's wicketkeepers."
"I informed Steven of Middlesex's position and he asked whether we would be prepared to allow Ben to go on loan to Worcestershire until their young keeper became available."
Middlesex endured a torrid season in 2009, finishing eighth in Division Two of the Championship and Scott struggled, making 167 runs at 12.84 from eight first-class games. He was replaced by Simpson who fared better, contributing 170 runs at 28.33 from his three games.
"Ben had a difficult season in 2009; a summer that culminated in us favouring John Simpson as our first eleven wicketkeeper. During his time in the first team John performed extremely well and showed great promise," said Fraser.
"His potential did not go unnoticed, with the ECB selecting him for one of their winter performance squads. In my view John performed well enough last season to merit his selection in the first eleven for the start of the 2010 season, which Ben has been made aware of."
Fraser was keen to assert that Scott's future remains with Middlesex and the conditions of the loan mean that Scott could return to London at any time."Ben has repeatedly been told that he remains a part of Middlesex's plans moving forward and the club very much want him to be with them during pre-season."
"The loan agreement allows Middlesex to recall Ben at any point, should John Simpson sustain an injury that prevents him from playing. Middlesex can also recall Ben should John's form no longer merit him a place in the first eleven."
Josh Knappett, another young wicketkeeper in the Worcestershire squad has had limited opportunities to impress while Steven Davies, currently in South Africa with England's Test squad, was at New Road. Davies' move to Surrey, announced in August, could have opened the door for Knappett while Cox was unavailable but Worcestershire opted to sign Scott instead.
Scott could feature against Middlesex in the Championship on April 9 and has said he wants to use his opportunities at Worcester to reclaim his starting spot for Middlesex.
"I am extremely excited by this new challenge and I am looking forward to the experience. I am grateful to Worcestershire for potentially giving me the opportunity to play first eleven cricket and my full intention is to show Middlesex that I not only have what it takes to play in their first eleven, but also to go on and perform at a higher level."