Scotland land Bailey and Jacobs
South African left-hander Arno Jacobs will join Australian George Bailey as the two permitted overseas professionals for the Scotland in this year's Friends Provident Trophy campaign, which starts at the Grange on April 29.
Jacobs, 30, plays for Western Warriors in South Africa's domestic competitions, and has a first-class average of nearly 40 with nine centuries and more than 20 half-centuries to his name. In 99 one-day games, he has reached three figures six times, and 50 on twelve occasions. He also scored a century in a World Cup warm-up match against Pakistan at Kimberley in January this year. Jacobs, who had a spell as pro for Stoneywood-Dyce recently, is currently playing for the Middleton club in Lancashire.
George Bailey, 24, who is this year's club professional for national league champions Grange, is one of the brightest prospects in contemporary Tasmanian cricket. He has a first-class average of 36.95 from just 26 matches. He got his chance in the Pura Cup in 2005-6, scoring three centuries and 778 runs, and last year staked a claim for national representation with his highest score of 155 against South Australia, in a record 292-run partnership with Travis Birt. A former Australia under-19 player, he is a direct relation of George Herbert Bailey, who was part of the 1878 touring squad to England.
Both players will feature in Scotland's nine Friends Provident Trophy matches, only four of which are home games: against Yorkshire (Sunday April 29), Nottinghamshire (Sunday May 20), Derbyshire (Sunday June 3) and Warwickshire (Sunday June 10). The away matches are against Leicestershire (Sunday May 6), Northamptonshire (Monday May 7), Lancashire (Sunday May 27), Durham (Monday May 28) and Worcestershire (Wednesday May 13).
Roddy Smith, chief executive of Cricket Scotland, said: "We are delighted to have recruited two players of high quality to supplement our Scottish players. Both George and Arno have had very successful domestic seasons in Australia and South Africa respectively, and we are sure they will add significantly to the Saltires squad for this season."
National coach Peter Drinnen added: "Our new captain Ryan Watson will be greatly helped in his task by having two such accomplished run-getters. That should enable our own players to gain confidence in their own abilities as the season progresses."