Peter Ross, Assistant Coach with the Scotland Women’s team, has worked with the group for over four years and is looking forward to an exciting run of fixtures coming up.
The Heriot’s wicketkeeper/batsman, 26, has won silverware with the Eastern Knights in the early part of this summer and now he is looking for some success with his coaching hat on.
Later this month the Wildcats have their ICC Women’s World T20 European Qualifier fixtures in La Manga, Spain, against Germany and the Netherlands.
As well as providing solid warm-up for tests to come later in the summer, the team finishing top in this event will also go through to the final stage of qualifying for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup in the 50-over format next year.
Those T20 matches on June 26, 27 and 29 will be closely followed by a T20 Quadrangular Series in the Netherlands between August 8 and 14.
There the Scots will face the hosts, Ireland and Thailand before the big one – the ICC Women’s World T20 World Cup Global Qualifier between August 31 and September 7.
All the matches will take place at Arbroath CC or Forfarshire CC and, featuring eight teams, the tournament is the final qualifier for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in February and March next year.
With two teams qualifying from that event it means that everyone involved is focused for the next few months – and that includes Ross.
“I started working with the national team in 2015,” he explained.
“I had just finished university at the time and set-up my own coaching business and I had a chat with Simon Smith at Cricket Scotland about perhaps getting more involved with coaching within the national pathways system.
“I did some work with the Eastern Knights and with the juniors and then an opportunity came up to work with Kari Carswell and the senior women’s set-up and things really went from there.
It was a great introduction to women’s cricket, it took me a bit of time to get used to the different way in which the game is played and to the different characters in the squad, but I loved finding all of that out.
“There was a mixture at the time of very experienced players and really young ones who were still at school and that was good as a coach.
“Due to the nature of women’s cricket some of the newer players get thrown in at the deep end against top nations – it is just trying to help them find a balance between going about their business and being fearless and also continuously learning at the same time.
“The amount of contact time and support the squad have now has grown a lot since 2015. I think it is amazing because now the depth of the squad is so much deeper and there are a lot more players who are ready to play at this level.
“Cricket Scotland have to take a lot of credit for that because they have been working hard – and constantly pushing – the women’s game. There are a lot more girls now playing at schools and clubs and there are more coaches involved now too so the pathway is strengthening all of the time.”
And Ross is looking forward to the upwards “journey” with the current crop of players continuing in the next few months.
“I think it is a constant journey with the team, they are always seeking to challenge themselves at that highest level to see how they can perform and learn,” he said.
“If we look back a couple of years ago to the World Cup 50-over qualifying tournament in Sri Lanka it was an eye opener.
“It made people realise that we could take on top teams and give them a scare, we pushed South Africa close and we showed we could win periods of cricket.
“That showed the squad what is possible and gave them confidence.
“With players being based all over Scotland and down south it is up to as a coaching team to use the contact time we have with the players wisely and we have to really drive our message home.
“The players then have to put in the hard yards when they are away from us, but they do that because they are diligent and there is a massive few months of cricket ahead.
The younger players have got to grips with the level of cricket they are playing quite quickly while I think the more senior players have learnt a lot in the last couple of years too and that blend seems to work well.
“As for myself as a coach, well I have loved working with this group since 2015 and I am really looking forward to the challenges that are to come this year.”
Scotland Women’s squad for the ICC Women’s World T20 European Qualifier
Kathryn Bryce (c) – Eagles, Watsonian CC, Warwickshire
Sarah Bryce (wk) (vc) – Eagles, Watsonian CC, Nottinghamshire
Priyanaz Chatterji – Stormers, Forfarshire CC, Surrey
Katherine Fraser – Eagles, Stew Mel/Edinburgh South CC
Becky Glen – Stormers, Durham
Sam Haggo – Eagles, Carlton CC
Lorna Jack – Stormers, Stirling County CC
Abtaha Maqsood – Stormers, West of Scotland CC
Megan McColl – Stormers, Arbroath United CC
Katie McGill – Eagles, Edinburgh South CC
Hannah Rainey – Eagles, Carlton CC
Rachel Scholes – Stormers, West of Scotland CC
Charis Scott – Eagles, Gala CC
Ruth Willis – Eagles, Carlton CC