Qualification rules a bridge too far for Beaton

Tom Beaton
Tom Beaton
Otago Volts prospect Tom Beaton has returned to Australia and appears to have given up on a career on this side of the divide.

The former Australian under-19 captain joined Green Island this season and signed a declaration of intent to qualify as a local player in New Zealand.

The 28-year-old all-rounder, who has played in the Big Bash for the Melbourne Renegades, has moved home to support his family.

His partner's father is ill, but it is understood he was also frustrated with the eligibility rules which would have forced him to remain in the country for 10 out of 12 months for two consecutive years.

''I suppose part of it was around the rules to do with qualification too,'' Otago Cricket Association performance and talent manager Simon Forde said when asked about Beaton's departure.

''It is an issue for every overseas player who comes over here. It is not easy for these guys.

''They need to spend a lot of time in the country in order to make a go of it and I guess they have to make a decision about whether it is worth it or not.''

Forde said the ICC changed the rules around qualifying players last year. Previously you needed to spend about six months in the country for three consecutive years.

''That has real repercussions for players because they can't go overseas to earn money,'' Forde said.

New Zealand Cricket playing conditions complicate the matter further and create another obstacle to get over.

Players like Otago all-rounder Christi Viljoen remain classified as a qualifying player in New Zealand despite having met the residential criteria.

It is not until such time as they are selected for New Zealand A or the Black Caps that the restrictions are fully lifted.

If they are not selected at the next level then they end up competing for the restricted spots in the team. Viljoen was overlooked for several twenty20 games this season because his inclusion would have pushed Otago outside the competition limit of three restricted players.

Basically he had to compete for a spot with overseas professional Ben Raine.

Forde said New Zealand Cricket planned to review the rules around qualifying players to see ''whether they fit in with its current philosophy around player development''.

But Beaton, who played two twenty20 games for Otago as an overseas professional in December 2016, may have decided, among other things, it was all just too hard.

Add a Comment