The Saltires time to shine?
|Ross Lawson is an aspiring sports journalist, combining his enthusiasm for cricket and Scotland by writing this blog. He also writes for English county cricket website Deep Extra Cover (deepextracover.com), and spends the rest of his time trying to forget about the recent Ashes series. He tweets here (twitter.com/RossLawson03)|
The past few years have seen Associate nations Ireland, Netherlands, and more recently Afghanistan make waves in the cricket world, causing strain and embarrassment to some of the world’s best teams. And England. But is now the time for Scotland to join “the best of the rest”?
Having suffered the disappointment of missing out on the 2014 T20 World Cup, the Scots will be looking to compete on the world stage once again, with the qualification stage of the 2015 ODI World Cup already under way [depending on publication] Fixtures against Hong Kong, Nepal, United Arab Emirates and Canada will be followed by the Super Six stage should all go according to plan, with the two finalists joining Ireland, Afghanistan and the Test-playing nations in Australia and New Zealand next year.
One major difference between this tournament and the previous is the man at the helm: Former England captain and all-rounder Paul Collingwood took over after Peter Steindl resigned after six years at the helm. Collingwood’s appointment is most certainly a coup for the Scots, with the Durham captain still playing the game, whilst yielding a wealth of admirable skill and experience in all formats and disciplines, as well as displaying his determination and motivational tools on the international arena.
‘Colly’ will share the coaching role with Craig Wright, the former Scottish international, who is reluctant to over-hype the chances from this competition. The duo’s position at the top suggests a strong sense of ambition from players, management and the pair themselves, a position perhaps absent under the Steindl, despite all the progress made under his regime.
Collingwood and Wright certainly have a talented group of players to work with, with skipper Kyle Coetzer and batsman Matt Machan in particular featuring heavily for Northants and Sussex respectively in the 2013 English domestic season. Alongside those two, the experience of Majid Haq in particular will be key for the Scots to try and gain success in these competitions.
For it’s these competitions where Scotland’s real cricket credentials will shine through. A platform to show what the boys up North are really capable of. A chance to make a story to tell the grandkids about.
But we’ve got to get there first. Over to you boys.