The onset of a new year is as much about reflection as anticipation, and for Scotland’s Kyle Coetzer the beginning of 2020 has brought both in abundance. Announced as the ICC’s Associate Cricketer of the Year for 2019, six months after he was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, the Aberdonian is looking forward to leading his team into the final stages of the Men’s T20 World Cup in October at the same time as remembering those who have helped him along the way.
Speaking after the Cricket Scotland Awards last weekend, two days after he received his MBE from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace, Kyle expressed his gratitude to those who have supported him.
“I’m quite a reflective person,” he said. “I always remember where I came from and those who have helped me. I went and picked up the award and people said some really nice things, but I’ve never really had a proper chance to say thanks, and it’s nice to have an opportunity to do so, to say that I do remember everyone and respect them very much.
“There have been a whole lot of people who have played their part, a lot of coaches going all the way back to Ron Fleming in the days when I was playing at Inverurie Cricket Club, through Stoneywood-Dyce and Aberdeenshire to where I’m sitting today,” he continued. “There have been a lot of people at Cricket Scotland, too many to name to be honest, but I have to be thankful for a lot of things, especially Sarah, my wife, my kids and my parents as well, who used to ferry me up and down from Aberdeen for midweek evening sessions at MES. There are a lot of thanks owed to a lot of people, and I’m very lucky.”
Kyle scored 842 runs for Scotland in 2019 and, with an average of 48.88, was the leading Associate batsman in ODI cricket, bringing him the accolade of ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year.
“[It was] a challenging year in many ways,” he said. “I feel that we as a team have played some outstanding cricket over a number of years now, and I think we were searching for that at times this year. On a personal note I never quite felt that I was playing as well as I would have liked to have done, so the fact that I still managed to get some decent numbers behind my name was something really positive.
“Being able to score some runs and feel that there was still more left in the tank is a very special thing, so I’m over the moon to have received that award. Calum MacLeod had the award last year, I’ve been lucky enough to get it this year – if we could get it three years in a row from another Scottish player, that would be something pretty substantial as a cricketing nation.
“My aim personally is to play a couple more World Cups and to find a way to get [Scotland] to Full Member status, to get us somewhere we’ve never been before,” he continued.
“If I can play a part in that when it comes around then that would be great, but if I can’t then hopefully I’ve left them with the right style of play and the right processes that will give them every chance to keep progressing, because there are certainly guys here who are already pushing the boundaries.”