ICC rules out Scotland's Ruaidhri Smith from U-19 qualifiers
Scotland Saltires player Ruaidhri Smith has been deemed ineligible for next month's Europe Under-19 Regional qualifier by the ICC.
Ruaidhri Smith, who played for Scotland in the 2012 U-19 World Cup and made his debut for the Saltires this season, was ruled out due to ICC's development criteria in the player eligibility regulations. According to the criteria, which players must meet to participate in development events, a cricketer must have played a certain percentage of cricket in his domestic league. In Ruaidhri Smith's case, his family moved to England when he was young so he doesn't meet the criterion. If Scotland qualify again for the U-19 World Cup, however, then Ruaidhri Smith could play the tournament.
Cricket Scotland chief executive Roddy Smith termed the decision "ridiculous" and said the board had appealed to the ICC: "We applied for an 'exceptional circumstances' exemption on the basis that Ruaidhri has already represented Scotland at last year's U-19 World Cup. The ICC acknowledged this but basically told us 'rules are rules'."
"In fairness, I think the ICC realise there are anomalies in their qualification rules," Roddy Smith said. "We don't think the development criteria should apply to a player who was born in the country. It is also ridiculous that different eligibility rules apply to the qualifying event and the main World Cup itself."
The ICC defended its decision. "As per the ICC's player eligibility regulations, the development criteria apply to a range of ICC development events," an ICC spokesperson said. "Therefore only players that meet the development criteria (as well as the core criteria that all players in all events must meet) can participate in the upcoming ICC Europe U-19 Regional Qualifier. Although Mr Smith played for Scotland in the U-19 Cricket World Cup in 2012, he does not meet the development criteria and therefore is unable to participate in this regional qualifier."