Scotland news March 2, 2012

Worker withdraws from Scotland deal

ESPNcricinfo staff

Scotland have been forced to rethink their plans for an overseas player this season after George Worker, the New Zealand batsman originally signed as their professional for 2012, was selected for New Zealand's winter development programme.

Worker, 23, had agreed to play for Scotland in the Clydesdale Bank 40 and coach and play for Watsonian CC on Myerside. But his impressive form for Canterbury has earned him a call up for the close-season programme.

"It's very disappointing news because George Worker ticked all the boxes," Roddy Smith, the Cricket Scotland chief executive, told Cricket Media Scotland. "He played a few games for us last season and fitted in really well with all the guys. It will be extremely difficult - if not impossible - to replace him like-for-like."

He has made two centuries this season, scoring 337 first-class runs at 37.44 in five matches and 308 runs at 38.50 in eight 50-over matches.

The 20-week programme features 10 up-and-coming players and runs from May 1 to September 30 - ruling Worker out of most of the British season - and includes five camps at the New Zealand high performance centre in Lincoln where players benefit from specialist support from New Zealand's high performance coaching staff.

"There is also an expectation that each player selected in the programme will also continue their work and commitment to develop a career outside the game by way of a part time job, study or work experience," New Zealand national selection manager Kim Littlejohn said. "This is an important aspect of the programme and will form part of the players individual performance plan."

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