Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer jets off today (Friday) to take part in the Everest Premier League in Nepal.
He will be joining up with the Pokhara Rhinos, one of the six franchises of the EPL, for the Twenty20 event that runs from December 8 to 22 at the Tribhuvan University Stadium.
Having recently returned from a winter training camp to La Manga in Spain with an extended Scottish performance group, Coetzer hopes he can hit the ground running and is keen to get some competitive cricket under his belt.
The 34-year-old opening batsmen said: “I am really excited to be heading out to Nepal to play with the Rhinos over the coming weeks.
“I am sure there will be a few things to get used to such as the altitude, the conditions and a whole bunch of new team mates, but we have a few days next week to really get some good practice in before the matches start and we have to use that time wisely.
“The EPL seems to be growing and growing and I think the competition will be of a good standard and we will face some pretty tough bowling so it should be really good to be a part of it.
“I am heading out there off the back of the recent La Manga trip and I thought that was brilliant. We focused a lot on power hitting with specialist coaches and that was really inciteful and helped us to look at which shots work best for us as individual batsmen.
“It gave me a lot of food for thought and I am glad to have a competitive tournament to go into now to try out all of the things I have been working on.
“In general I was very impressed by the fringe players and the younger guys who were brought into things for the La Manga trip off the back of good performances in the Regional Series and in age-grade cricket in the summer.
“The week was not just about the senior players showing them the way to go about things, but also us learning and listening to them because we all have to bring ideas together and work as one big unit heading into 2019.”
Scotland’s men’s side will face Ireland, the Netherlands and Oman in February next year as part of the first ever T20I series to be played in Oman.
The tournament will be played between February 10 and 17 and Coetzer added: “It is great to have these fixtures and the ones against Sri Lanka next summer confirmed because it gives everyone something to aim for and dates to base training regimes around.
“Like Nepal, I imagine Oman will be a fascinating place and I am sure that we will face some tough matches there, but that is what we are always after, matches against good sides.
“The only way to improve and continue to move outside your comfort zone is to play competitive matches more often and I know Cricket Scotland are doing a great job working hard to fill up our fixture list at the top level.”
Speaking of the top level and June 10, 2018 will be etched in Coetzer’s mind and anyone who was at The Grange that day when Scotland played some amazing cricket to defeat England in an ODI.
“I get home from Nepal just before Christmas and while I am up in Aberdeen for the festivities I will try my bet to watch the highlights of that game over and over via DVD,” the skipper said.
“So much has happened since then that perhaps you don’t take it all in, but come Christmas I will be smiling and remembering that amazing day in Edinburgh, I get goosebumps just talking about it.
“It was such a famous day for everyone that is involved in Scottish cricket and the feeling at the end was just amazing.”