SCOTLAND and Ireland remain in the dark as to which of their county players will be available for the triangular series in less than a fortnight's time.
Scotland head coach Pete Steindl said he was still waiting for clarification on the availability of "one or two" players while Ireland's Phil Simmons advised CricketEurope simply to "watch this space".
Neither would comment on individual names and neither expressed any clear confidence in having a full-strength team for the challenge presented by the Black Caps and the first of three renewals of the old Celtic rivalry this summer.
Ireland's problem is that Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) and Niall O'Brien (Northamptonshire) have made very promising starts to the season, scoring runs at a good rate in all three forms of cricket. No Scot is currently a first pick on the county scene but Kyle Coetzer (Durham) and Navdeep Poonia (Warwickshire) will be loath to rule themselves out of a potential chance to impress if called upon by their employers.
In the week of the Aberdeen series, a round of county championship games begins on Sunday June 29. Durham face Yorkshire at Headingley, Middlesex entertain Northants and Warwickshire host Gloucestershire, who might well find a place for Ireland captain William Porterfield despite his exclusion from the current Twenty20 Cup.
O'Brien is the player most likely to face a dilemma, with his place behind the stumps at Northants apparently secure. But all three left-handed batsmen could foreseeably be left with no real alternative to put their paymasters first.
Ireland face the Kiwis on day three of the county games and Scotland on day four, so the Scotland v New Zealand ODI on Thursday July 3 is the only one of the three with no impediment to full-strength teams taking part.
Simmons said: "I don't know yet who is available and who isn't. This is something we will be working out next weekend. "There are always going to be clashes because county cricket goes on every week. There is supposed to be mandatory release of our players for one-day internationals [against full ICC member nations] but we will see."
Both coaches said their squads would be named early next week.