Gary Heatly spoke to the Scotland keeper ahead of the ODIs against the Netherlands
Scotland’s men go into Thursday’s second ODI with the Netherlands in Rotterdam looking to tweak a few parts of their performance following defeat in the opener on Wednesday.
In the match reduced to 33-overs-a-side, Shane Burger’s men were not a million miles away from getting things right in a 14-run defeat, their first competitive outing since December 2019.
The tweaks captain Kyle Coetzer and co will be looking to make will, of course, be on the cricket field, but in the early stages of the first lockdown in 2020 the tweaking being done by wicketkeeper Matt Cross was all to make sure that his trick shots’ – which became very popular on social media – were working out just right.
He used various objects from around his house to assemble assault courses with pans, cricket bats, cereal boxes, golf clubs and a tin can all featuring in short video clips, with the overall aim of getting a table tennis ball into a tin can.
“I think at the start when the pandemic came and sport was taken away from us all for a spell, we were all looking for things to keep us occupied,” Cross, the 28-year-old ODI opening batter who is originally from Aberdeen, explains.
“Things like TikTok were starting to get big around that time because everyone was stuck inside and I saw a few people trying trick shots indoors using golf clubs and such like.
“I started to think about what things I could set-up around the place to try and I worked on a few things and then filmed them. As with anything that I filmed, other people only saw the good bits and there were a few outtakes and tries that did not quite work out, but it was a good laugh and kept me occupied for a bit.”
When the Heriot’s player shared a clip of himself chipping a golf ball onto the flat side of a cricket bat which then deflected into a tin can he could not have imagined it would spark reaction from around the world.
As the trick shots got more complex and more impressive, more and more people began interacting with him on social media and Shaun Pollock, a legend of South African cricket, got involved.
The former all-rounder posted videos of himself trying to match – and even better – Cross’ attempts and they pushed each other on to try more lavish challenges.
Fast forward a year though and now it is Cross and his Scotland team mates who are pushing each other to get better.
“Since we came back together full-time as a group in April there has been a real focus and intent to our training,” the man who has played over 50 ODIs and over 40 T20Is for his country, states.
“We know that, having had no matches for so long, the challenges will now come thick and fast over this summer and beyond and we cannot wait because we are a close-knit group who love representing Scotland and want to show the wider public what we are capable of.
“This week’s trip to the Netherlands is just the start of that and it feels good to be back playing together as a unit.”