Preview - Scotland prepare to host Afghanistan
New Williamfield will host a First Class fixture for the first time on Tuesday (June 2) as two of the top Associates, Scotland and Afghanistan, clash in the first fixture of the 2015 -17 ICC Intercontinental Cup.
What makes this Intercontinental Cup different from the previous editions is that the winner of the eight-team round-robin competition will play the tenth ranked side on the ICC Test Team Rankings (as on 31 December 2017) in the four-match ICC Test Challenge in 2018. If the Associate Member wins the series, to be played on a home and away basis, then it will become the 11th Test nation.
Scotland, who won the initial ICC Intercontinental Cup competition, will take on rivals Afghanistan in home conditions for the first time since 2010.
The two teams have met three times in the ICC Intercontinental Cup, with Afghanistan winning all three matches.
Scotland captain Preston Mommsen, who is expected to lead his side in Stirling, said: “We are really looking forward to the challenge of facing Afghanistan in our backyard, at the start of what is a hugely important competition. We will, for the first time, have the chance to push our case for Test match cricket. We expect decent support at Stirling, and we’ll be looking to put in a big performance in our own conditions to get us off to a good start against a talented Afghan team.”
Afghanistan captain Mohammad Asghar Stanikzai added: “The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 was a very good experience for our team, playing under those tough conditions in Australia and New Zealand. We learned a lot playing with Full members, which skills to be improved (batting, bowling and fielding) and how to prepare for top quality matches. Our team has already started to prepare for tougher opposition as onwards we hope to be playing more matches against Full Members. This Intercontinental Cup is an excellent opportunity for Associate teams to qualify for Test cricket and we know that Scotland is a good side, especially at home having played each other several times both in the UAE and Scotland.”
Admission is FREE with play commencing at 11am.
More details can be found from the Stirling CCC Website HERE
SCOTLAND (from): Preston Mommsen (captain), Richie Berrington, Matthew Cross, Freddie Coleman, Con de Lange, Alasdair Evans, Hamish Gardiner, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main, Safyaan Sharif, Andrew Umeed, Mark Watt
AFGHANISTAN (from): Mohammad Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Mohammad Javed Ahmadi, Mohammad Yamin Ahmadzai, Mirwais Ashraf, Izatullah Dawlatzai, Nasir Jamal, Nawroz Mangal, Mohammad Nabi, Shabir Noori, Mohammad Shahzad, Hashmatullah Shaidi, Sami Ullah Shinwari, Sayed Ahmad Shirzad, Rahmat Shah Zurmati
Match Referee: David Jukes (England)
Umpires: Allan Haggo and Gregory Brathwaite