Luke Georgeson fielded for Northern Knights yesterday in their final warm-up ahead of next week’s inter-provincial Cup game, but it was his last involvement with the NCU side.

The New Zealander, who less than three weeks ago was offered and accepted a central contract with Cricket Ireland, has changed his mind because “I will always be a New Zealander”. His 12-month contract was terminated by mutual consent.

Georgeson has wrestled with his conscience since making this ‘big decision’, back home, on April 12 but since his return to Northern Ireland, where he will continue to play for Civil Service North this season, he knew he could never be fully committed to Ireland.

“The basis of this decision is that I have come to a clearer understanding that I still harbour ambitions of playing for New Zealand and I underestimated how much I want to realise this dream until recent days,” he said in a statement.

“I remain passionate about cricket in Ireland and the NCU and I will endeavour to stay involved and make a difference wherever I can. I appreciate everyone’s understanding about the decision.”

No decision on whether Georgeson will be replaced in the Knights core squad of 12 and discussions are ongoing within Cricket Ireland about whether his central contract will be given to another player or if better use can be made of the funds, going to towards another series for Ireland Wolves, for example.

With North Down’s Ani Chore, who replaced Georgeson, scoring 53, the Knights beat North West Warriors by four runs at Belmont.

There was a welcome return to form for James McCollum who top scored with 82 in the Knights’ 226 for seven from 40 overs with Conor Olphert the pick of the Warriors attack, taking three for 24 in his eight overs.

Captain Andy McBrine hit 63 and William Porterfield 40 in the reply, both dismissed by Mark Adair who took four for 25.