200 Days to go until CWC 2015
With 200 days to go until the start of the 2015 ICC World Cup, it has been announced that the four Associate nations who achieved qualification will play local teams as part of the ICC High Performance Programme (HPP).
Scotland will travel to Australia at the end of September for matches in Hobart, where they will meet the Australian State side, Tasmania Tigers, before traveling to New Zealand.
Scotland, which has featured in two previous ICC Cricket World Cup events (1999 and 2007), will play two one-day matches in Hobart, before heading to the country of its historic CWCQ victory to play an additional four one-day matches, in Christchurch.
It will be an excellent opportunity for the squad to get acclimatised to local conditions ahead of such an important tournament.
Scotland coach Grant Bradburn commented: “With only 200 days to go to the World Cup, excitement is building in the Scotland camp. Players are well aware there will be healthy internal competition for places in the final 15, so every opportunity from here on in is critical for selection and preparation,” he said.
“The pre-World Cup tour to Australia and New Zealand is a valuable chance for all the associate teams to keep building playing experiences against quality opposition on conditions that we are likely to be challenged with come February.
“Together with the ICC we have been able to build a substantial preparation programme towards the World Cup. From a playing perspective we are expecting to be challenged with quality quick, swing bowling plus world class spin. These are two of the skill areas where the Scotland squad will be working hard to keep building our skills.”
Current Australia T20 captain and former Scottish Saltire, George Bailey, expressed his feelings about the Scots coming to visit his home state: “I’ve actually played for Scotland and just love the place and the people. Not only is Tasmania a fantastic place to visit, but Hobart is an official World Cup venue with world-class facilities, and I’m sure the touring team will really enjoy their pre-tournament taste of Hobart.
Reflecting on the importance of these tours, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “Helping cricket’s top emerging nations to perform on the global stage is a key part of the ICC’s High Performance Programme, and these tours will provide a great opportunity for the four teams to gain valuable knowledge and experience of the conditions they will face during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
“All sides have a strong schedule of matches against high-level opposition, and we are grateful to Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket and their state and provincial associations for supporting the programme so fully.”
For fans across the world, feel free to share your ICC Cricket World Cup memories and photos with the hashtags: #200days and #cwc15.
Scotland’s full schedule will be announced in due course.