Warwickshire nearly man Neil Carter set for Scotland career
Lord's nearly man Neil Carter is ready for a new career with Scotland after bowing out in Warwickshire's last-ball CB40 final defeat by Hampshire.
Playing in what he knew would be his last game for the Bears, Carter failed to provide a fairy-tale finale when he could not nudge the single needed for victory off Kabir Ali's final delivery.
But the 37-year-old South African plans to bounce back north of the border.
"I've qualified for Scotland," he said. "I'd like to take them to a World Cup."
Neil Carter's career so far
- Born Cape Town, January 1975
- Played for Boland 1999-2001
- Joined Bears playing staff for 2001 season
- Hit his only first-class century in 2002, when he was also part of the Bears' Benson & Hedges Cup-winning side
- Won his county cap in 2005
- Hit his highest one-day score - 135 - against Scotland at Edgbaston in 2006
- Made headlines by being loaned out to Middlesex to play in the ill-fated Stanford Super Series in the Caribbean in 2009
- Was part of the Bears' CB40 winning side against Somerset at Lord's in 2010, when he was voted the Players' Player of the Year
- Swashbuckling skills as a pinch-hitter at the top of the order earned him the title of 'Carter - the unstoppable six machine' from Bears fans
- Only faced three deliveries in this year's CB40 - the last three of Saturday's final. He caressed the second of them to the extra cover boundary for four but the other two were dot balls
Since arriving in the Midlands 11 years ago, Cape Town-born Carter has been part of two County Championship winning sides - first in 2004, and then again this season as he featured twice for the Bears.
He also secured a CB40 winners medal against Somerset at Lord's in 2010, and despite making a lot of friends at Edgbaston, the popular all-rounder knew that the time was right for a fresh challenge.
And as the holder of a British passport, he has now qualified to play for Scotland on residential grounds.
"This has put closure on my first-class career with Warwickshire," Carter told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire.
"I've had a great time but it's time to move on.
"I'll be going back to Cape Town to play a bit of cricket, but it would be nice to take Scotland to a couple of World Cups.
"It's not set in tablets of stone, but we'll have a chat.
"It would be nice to help out, teach some youngsters one or two things and maybe play against some good opposition."
Scotland are to undertake a month-long tour of South Africa in early October, playing a mixture of Twenty20, 50-over and three-day cricket against domestic first-class opposition, as they prepare for a busy year in 2013.
They will be looking to qualify for the World T20 in Bangladesh in 2014, as well as the 50-over Cricket World Cup in early 2015, which will be staged in Australia and New Zealand.
"My body feels good and I've kept myself nice and fit, so one-day cricket won't be a problem," insists Carter.
"There's a World Cup coming up in two years and a Twenty20 World Cup every two years.
"But Scotland have had some good guys in the past and maybe I can help them out."
Amongst those "good guys" is Carter's former Bears team-mate and close friend Dougie Brown, the former England and Scotland one-day all-rounder, who is still at Edgbaston on the coaching staff.