Every Scottish cricket supporter will never forget June 10 2018 when the men’s national team defeated England in a One Day International at The Grange in Edinburgh.
And two years on Kyle Coetzer’s men have the chance to take some more big scalps against some of the world’s best and the excitement really is building!
Just before Christmas, Cricket Scotland was thrilled to confirm that Australia and New Zealand – known as the BLACKCAPS – will be venturing north of the border for a One Day International and two T20 Internationals in June.
The BLACKCAPS will start off their European tour in Scotland with a T20I on Wednesday 10th June followed by an ODI on Friday 12th June.
Australia has confirmed they will visit Scotland for a T20I on Monday 29th June to coincide with a tour of England.
The clamour for tickets for these glamour matches is set to hit fever pitch in the coming weeks with everyone wanting to be on the boundary edge to see Shane Burger’s men pit themselves against top-quality opponents.
At the time of writing, Australia is second in the T20I world rankings with Scotland 13th.
Flamboyant batsman Aaron Finch is second in the current world rankings in the shortest format of the international game while Glenn Maxwell is fifth and D’Arcy Short 14th, but in truth, they have power hitters throughout their line-up.
Scotland’s George Munsey is 18th in the world currently and had a great 2019 and has a solid batting unit around him so the Scots know on their day they can mix it with the best.
Maxwell is handy with the ball for the Australians too, sitting second in the all-rounder’s world rankings list with Scotland’s amazingly consistent Richie Berrington fourth.
Short is 20th in that list for the Australians, while in the bowling list Adam Zampa is fifth with Ashton Agar ninth. Scotland spinner Mark Watt is 15th in that list with seamer Ali Evans 33rd with the bowling attack consistently improving in the T20 format.
The two teams have not met regularly in T20 action but met in the ODI World Cup in 1999 in Worcester.
In that one, the Scots put up a good fight but Australia won by six wickets thanks to three wickets from Shane Warne and 67 from Mark Waugh.
They also met in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies and two years later met at The Grange. A century from David Hussey saw Australia home, but seamer Gordon Goudie took five wickets for Scotland.
An amazing partnership between Finch and Shaun Marsh of 246 led the visitors to a win in Edinburgh in 2013 and now everyone is looking forward to the upcoming T20I which of course is part of the warm-up for the World Cup in Australia later this year.
With Scotland and New Zealand meeting in two formats in five months’ time, it will allow a number of players on both sides to show what they can do.
The BLACKCAPS are sixth currently in the world in T20 cricket and are third in the world in ODI cricket behind England and India.
In the shorter format, Colin Munro is a destructive batsman for the Kiwis and is fourth in the world rankings with his teammate Martin Guptil 11th.
They have a couple of handy all-rounders – Mitchell Santner 12th and Colin de Grandhomme 14th in those rankings – with Santner the third best bowler in the world at the moment too.
In the ODI game, Ross Taylor is at five in the batting rankings with Kane Williamson seventh. Captain Coetzer is at 35 for the Scots, but like the T20 side the batting line-up is growing in strength and experience all the time and having hit 371 against England two years ago, they will fear no bowling attack.
Santner and de Grandhomme are at sixth and eighth in the all-rounder’s rankings with Safyaan Sharif the highest-rated Scot at the moment.
And of course, the BLACKCAPS have the superb Trent Boult sitting at number two in the ODI bowling rankings behind the equally superb Jasprit Bumrah of India.
When New Zealand was in Scotland in 2008 for an ODI, Jacob Oram with three wickets and Taylor with 61 not out steered the visitors to a win in Aberdeen, but 12 years on expect a much more tightly fought 50-overs-a-side contest.
Tickets will go on-sale on Monday 3rd February. Don’t miss out!