Neil Carter has re-iterated his desire to remain at Warwickshire, despite agreeing a loan deal to represent Middlesex this winter.
Carter will play for Middlesex Crusaders, this season’s Twenty20 Cup champions, in the Stanford Super Series later this month and could, if he makes a favourable impression, then represent them in December’s Champions League in India.
Though he remains registered by Warwickshire, Carter is now out of contract at Edgbaston. He remains confident that he will sign a two-year deal later this month, however.
“I want to stay at Warwickshire and I’m sure I will stay,” Carter said. “I haven’t even thought about a deal at Middlesex; it’s just a loan deal.
“I’d expect to play a full season in all competitions next year and then have a limited-overs deal from 2010. I’d still expect to play around 12 championship games that year. We just have a couple of bits and pieces to negotiate.”
Carter is understandably excited by the Middlesex offer. They are due to play three games in Antigua later this month, with the key match (against Caribbean Twenty20 champions Trinidad and Tobago) offering a prize of $300,000 to the winning side.
“It’s an awesome opportunity,” he said. “Toby Radford [the Middlesex director of cricket] called me and explained they were looking for a like-for-like replacement for Dirk Nannes [the Australian left-arm seamer who is unavailable due to commitments with South Australia].
“I don’t know where I’ll be batting, but I’d love to open. Owais Shah used to do it for them sometimes, but he’s unavailable [as he’s in the England squad], so hopefully the opportunity is there.”
Carter dismisses the suggestion that he will be excluded from the Champions League due to connections with the ‘rebel’ Indian Cricket League, but admitted the temptation of playing in the competition remained.
“I was never registered by an ICL side, so that shouldn’t be an issue. I’d hope that, if I play well in Antigua or India, that I might attract some interest from [the official and sanctioned] Indian Premier League.
“When you hear about some of the silly money being paid for playing in the ICL then you have to listen. For someone at my stage of his career – and I know I don’t have too many more seasons left in me – it’s a no-brainer. If someone does come along, I’ll hear what they have to say.”
Carter’s rates his 2008 season as the second best of his career. “I still think 2005 was my best season,” he says. “If they had introduced the MVP system then [the most valuable player ratings], I think I would have won it. I scored over 1,000 runs and took 90-odd wickets in all competitions.
“This year was very pleasing and similar in a way. At the end of 2004, I was told I might not get a contract and it was the same at the end of 2007. I seem to come back stronger each time.
“This year was just great fun. I think everyone plays better if they enjoy their cricket and this year has been much more enjoyable.”
Carter, who is in South Africa, returns to England to train with Middlesex on October 16. They fly to Antigua on October 19 and play three games: one against England (on October 26), one against Trinidad and Tobago (October 27) and one against the Stanford Superstars (on October 30).