'In Profile' Con de Lange
Con de Lange chats to reporter Gary Heatly in the first 'In-Profile' articles with members of the Scotland team as they prepare for the ICC World T20 in India.
Con de Lange may have turned 35 early in February, but the experienced all-rounder is one of the newer faces in the Scotland set-up for the World Twenty20 in India.
Having been born and brought up in South Africa, Con first came to play in Scotland’s domestic leagues as a 20-year-old with Ferguslie in 2001.
He spent five summers with the Paisley outfit over the next six years before playing in Ireland and England to get a taste of what the cricket in those countries had to offer.
“My wife is Scottish and I love it here so we were always keen to come back at some point and thankfully I was able to join Clydesdale as a player/coach,” Con said.
“If you had said to me when I first came to Scotland back in 2001 that one day I would be playing for them in a World Twenty20 event in India then I would not have believed you.
“However, I am dedicated to the Scottish cause and very proud to have been selected and the next few weeks are a real opportunity for us to show others what we can do.
“It is exciting to play international cricket, it is something that I’m really keen on and I think that the group as a whole is doing all of the right things at the minute.
“It is about taking all of those good things into matches and that will help us to record wins on the big stage out in India.”
With Con and co now safely in India, Scotland’s Group B matches start when they take on Afghanistan on March 8.
They then face Zimbabwe and Hong Kong and if they can come out on top in the section they will then progress to the Super Ten phase.
Con made his Scotland debut last summer aged 34 and has brought a lot to the table.
He is a tidy spin bowler and a clean hitter with the bat while his experience of the game in many different conditions over the years is of benefit to the younger men around him.
His coaching credentials also add something to the group and he believes head coach Grant Bradburn the other national coaches are doing a fine job.
“I can sense that there has been a massive shift in terms of professionalism in Scottish cricket since I first came to the country 15 years ago and there are a number of coaches and other people who have put in a lot of work to get this group to where it is now,” he said.
“There were more pluses than minuses for us after the qualifiers last summer and we really just had to make a few tweaks and then really commit to the type of cricket that we want to play.
“I think the T20 game moves forward so quickly and you cannot rest. You may have done something well six months ago, but that is in the past and you always have to be preparing for what comes next to be successful.
“Being involved in an event like this is why you play cricket. Getting a chance to play in big stadiums in front of noisy crowds and with people watching you on television is like a dream.
“However, what we cannot do is get overawed by the occasion, we must simply stick to our structures and play our own game like we have been talking about all winter.
“If we do that then of course we have a chance of progressing to the next stage - it is up to us now to do our talking on the field.”