Ryan Watson declines Scotland contract
Ryan Watson, the former Scotland captain, has rejected a full-time contract in favour of employment outside cricket. In an 18-man squad announced on Wednesday, Majid Haq replaced Watson as one of three players to be offered a full-time 12-month deal. Four more players were given six-month contracts.
Though no captain was announced, Gavin Hamilton, the former England all-rounder, took up the position when Watson resigned in May after his team's failure to qualify for the 2011 World Cup.
In addition to the national squad there will also be three regional squads and an academy party. These players will have separate training sessions and, with the national squad and academy players, form the basis for the regional and Scotland Lions games that will take place in 2010.
Chairman of selectors Iain Kennedy said: "We have made a significant change by having the regional and academy squads selected to feed into our national squad. This will allow far more contact time between coaches and players at a local level, which will hopefully accelerate the development of the talented players we have just below national level."
The new squad arrangement continues the restructuring of Scottish cricket following the announcement that the country's three-division structure is being replaced with a 14-club Premiership and a 16-team second-tier Championship.
Scotland have a packed schedule in 2010 and Kennedy feels that the squad may yet be expanded. "2010 will be a challenging year, with lots of cricket to be played in all three formats of the game, and I am sure there will be many opportunities for players to force their way into the national team."
The season begins with an Intercontinental Cup fixture in Kenya in late January, followed in February by the qualification tournament for the World Twenty20. Scotland also play an ODI against England in June and will compete in the new English domestic ECB40 competition later in the year.
Head coach Peter Steindl said: "Our young squad has some major challenges to look forward to in the year ahead. These 18 players will form the core of our team, with players from the regional and academy squads pushing them hard for their places in the national team.
Scotland squad (* indicates 12-month full-time contracted player + indicates six-month contracted player) Richie Berrington+, Kyle Coetzer, Gordon Drummond, Gordon Goudie*, Majid Haq*, Gavin Hamilton, Moneeb Iqbal, Ross Lyons+, Neil McCallum, Dewald Nel*, Navdeep Poonia, Callum MacLeod, Glenn Rogers, Qasim Sheikh+, Simon Smith+, Jan Stander, Ryan Watson, Fraser Watts.