Cricket: Tom New released by County
Leicestershire have parted company with wicketkeeper-batsman Tom New.
Although the left-hander had a year remaining on his contract at Grace Road, the announcement of New's departure comes as no real surprise.
New, 26, lost his place in the Leicestershire side towards the end of last season, and County subsequently handed contracts to promising glovemen Ned Eckersley and Paul Dixey at the end of the summer.
It is evident that the club believe New, who made his first-class debut in 2004, has not 'kicked on' as they had hoped.
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At the same time, both Eckersley and Dixey have emerged to give Leicestershire other options behind the stumps looking ahead to the 2012 campaign.
With Paul Nixon having retired, too, Eckersley appears to have the qualities to flourish in Twenty20 cricket – New having played just once for the Foxes in that format.
New, right, certainly was not at his best last season, and was not helped by the freak toe injury he suffered at the end of April which ruled him out for more than a month.
In 10 first-class games during 2011, he hit 412 runs at an average of 21.6 – his career average stands at over 30.
"I'm disappointed because I have been at the club for eight-and-a-half years," said New, who made two first-class centuries in his time at Grace Road and received his County cap in 2009.
"I saw myself finishing my career there. That was the ultimate plan, but things have not worked out that way. The club has decided to take this decision and they are entitled to do that.
"I'd like to thank them for what they have done for me in my time at the club."
However, New, who figured in 95 first-class games for County, is not yet ready to draw a line under his playing days.
"This is just a new chapter in my career," he said.
"It is something I have to move on with, find somewhere else and make a career out of it."
New, who played for England at under-15 and under-19 level, has enjoyed a break from the game since the end of the season but is now looking to get back involved with cricket.
"There are a few options out there for me," he said. "It certainly isn't the end of me as a player.
"I'm 26 and still looking to have another 10 years in the game."