Scottish Cricket November 23, 2006

Richards blow for Scotland

Cricinfo staff

Scotland have suffered a blow with Corey Richards, the former New South Wales batsman, announcing he won't be available for next season. He retired from first-class cricket in September had has decided to pursue his career in Sydney.

Craig Wright, the Scotland captain, admitted the loss of Richards was a huge blow. "It's almost impossible to find players of Corey's quality unless you can pay big bucks, which we are not in a position to do," he told the Scotsman. "He's one of the best players I have ever played with and it's a pity he won't be back."

Richards scored 283 runs in the C&G Trophy during 2006 as Scotland took their place in an expanded competition. Ian Moran, a fellow Australian, will be offered a second season if he is able to find a Scottish club and Cricket Scotland will scour a pool of professionals before deciding whether to replace Richards.

Meanwhile, an injury problem has hit the Scotland squad ahead of their tour to Bangladesh with Dewald Nel ruled out with a back injury. He has returned from the ICC Academy in Pretoria but the Scotland coach, Peter Drinnen, wants Nel to travel with the team to keep the players together. Nel is hopeful of being fit for the World Cricket League in Kenya during January.