Craig is the 'Wright' Man for the Scotland Coaching Role

08 Oct

From Paisley Daily Express- Paul Behan

Craig Wright and Gavin Hamilton

Former Scotland captain Craig Wright is looking forward to rubbing shoulders with England legend Paul Collingwood after the two men were handed new roles as part of a coaching reshuffle.

Cricket Scotland has announced that Paisley man Wright will join Collingwood, who is England’s most capped ODI player and also captained their team to glory at the 2010 World T20 championships, in the Scotland coaching team this winter.

Wright, who is Scotland’s most capped cricketer, has been making a name for himself as coach of his nation’s under-19 team.

Under his leadership, the Scots swept to victory at this summer’s International Cricket Council under-19 European World Cup Qualifiers.

That prestigious event was staged in Holland, where Scotland took on the host nation, Denmark, Jersey, Guernsey and Ireland.

And the young Bravehearts, including Ferguslie star Michael English, made a big impression, winning all five of their games.

Their reward is a place at the 2014 under-19 World Cup, which will take place in the United Arab Emirates.

And further reward for Wright is promotion to the senior team, where he now becomes bowling coach.

Wright, who retired from international cricket in 2009, told Express Sports: “I’m absolutely delighted to get this opportunity. These are exciting times for the team as there is a lot coming up over the next six months.

“There are two World Cup qualifying tournaments to look forward to, so it’s a great time to be part of the coaching team.”

Wright will work alongside head coach Peter Steindl and fielding coach/performance analyst Toby Bailey, with Collingwood also joining the backroom staff.

The Scotland squad will embark on two World Cup qualifying campaigns between now and February 2014.

The qualifiers for the 2014 T20 World Cup take place in the UAE in November, with qualifiers for the 2015 Cricket World Cup being staged in New Zealand in January 2014.

And Wright believes that qualification for both prestigious events is a realistic possibility.

He said: “There are six places up for grabs in the T20 qualifiers and I believe we can be optimistic about our chances. For New Zealand, there are only two spots available but we’ll be confident of making it into that top two.”

Collingwood will play a full part in both the preparation and competition phases of the winter programme – and bosses at Cricket Scotland are delighted to have him on board.

Wright during an U19 coaching sessionHead coach Steindl said: “Leading into two vital qualifying events, I was very keen to change things up a bit, add a couple of new voices to the coaching team and bring in coaches who had attained success at the very highest levels of the game.

“Paul has been part of successful teams as a player and a captain and it will be great to have his experience and knowledge on board.

“We identified Paul as a person we were very keen to secure and I am delighted he agreed to join us for the winter.

“I am sure he will be a hugely-positive influence on the squad as we head into some really important cricket.”

Wright will have his position reviewed after the winter programme and will continue to work with the under-19s.

He said: “I will retain the same position. All I’m doing is adding to it.

“It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead.

“Some of the players will not have played the T20 format before, so it’s about getting used to that and getting up to speed.”

Steindl is also looking forward to welcoming Wright into the senior coaching set-up.

He said: “Craig has done a great job with the under-19s for a number of years and is one of our most celebrated cricketers of recent times.

“His skills will add to a really exciting blend within the coaching team.”

The Scotland squad will leave for Sri Lanka on Sunday, October 27, for a preparation camp before the World T20 qualifiers get under way, with the squad arriving in Dubai on Saturday, November 9.

They play warm-up matches against the USA on Tuesday, November 12, and Namibia on Wednesday, November 13, before their first group game against Bermuda on Friday, November 15. It’s hoped Paisley’s Majid Haq, who plays for Clydesdale, will earn a Scotland call-up for the event.

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