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Scots miss out in new county set-up

SALTIRES bosses are planning a series of top quality fixtures after being omitted from England's new county set-up.

Cricket Scotland chief executive Roddy Smith last night revealed that Scotland won't be included in English cricket's revamped domestic structure from 2014. It means Pete Steindl's side will be denied eight games against quality opposition.

However, Smith believes matches against top international sides, including Australia, will help fill the void.

"Australia are already on our schedule for next summer and we hope to have two additional games against full members in 2013," he said. "The ICC are placing a huge emphasis on more games between the top associates and full members and their A teams; we will benefit by this and also more international games against our direct peers."

Of the ECB's decision to omit the Saltires from their new CB50 tournament, Smith added: "CS have known for some time that there was a real possibility that the Saltires would not be included in a new ECB domestic 50-over competition from 2014. Indeed we have had a number of discussions with the ECB about this. Cricket Scotland had put forward to the ECB that ongoing participation in their domestic structure was not a priority."

Steindl, who had originally assumed the Saltires would participate in the new CB50, said: "My priority is ensuring that the players get a full programme of quality cricket that will challenge them."

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