CRICKET Scotland yesterday welcomed John Blain back into the fold by handing him a key role in a rebranded regional Tri-Series.

Blain, whose international career ended in controversial fashion seven years ago, will be head coach of the Eastern Knights, one of three sides who will compete for the Cricket Scotland Pro50 Cup and T20 Blitz.

His return to a representative role follows the decision to scrap the ill-fated North Sea Pro-Series and return to a three-team regional structure, also featuring the Caley Highlanders and Western Warriors.

The Highlanders and Warriors will be coached by Graeme Beghin and Con de Lange respectively and CS’s Director of Cricket Andy Tennant said: “We are delighted to have three high quality coaches in charge.

“All three combine these roles with coaching duties in strong clubs within their region, positioning them perfectly to assess the playing strength available.

“We are genuinely excited about the new structure and what these three young coaches can contribute.”

While the new domestic set-up replaces the 2014 and 2015 North Sea Pro Series competition between four Scotland and Netherlands representative sides, the collaboration between the two countries may continue in an end-of-season North Sea Trophy Final.

Commenting further on the new structure Tennant added: “The new competition will provide a wider platform for a larger amount of young talent and ambitious club players to join our Scottish-based contracted professionals to showcase their skills at the highest level domestically.”

Blain’s successful cap career came to an end when he walked out on the national squad on the eve of the 2009 T20 World Cup.

While he never played for Scotland again, his appointment to the Eastern Knights is a clear acknowledgement of his coaching talent.He will take charge of the Knights for the first time when they launch their CS Pro50 Cup campaign against the Warriors at The Grange on April 24. Caley enter the fray on May 1 when they host the Knights at Forthill.