Samantha Haggo - 'We will give it our best shot'
Gary Heatly spoke to Scotland bowler Samantha Haggo about life through in Edinburgh and preparations for their ICC World Cup Qualifier in Sri Lanka.
It has been a busy few months for Sam Haggo both on and off the field, but for the Scotland Women’s player everything has been building to the upcoming trip to Sri Lanka.
The players are currently preparing for the ICC World Cup qualifiers and will depart on Sunday for two warm-up games against Ireland in Dubai before travelling on to the main event.
There, after a final warm-up match against Zimbabwe, they will face South Africa (February 8), Bangladesh (February 10), Papua New Guinea (February 11) and Pakistan (February 13) in Group B.
The top four teams after the ‘Super Six’ stage will join Australia, hosts England, New Zealand and West Indies in the World Cup in June and July.
Since the end of last year’s domestic campaign, Prestwick’s Haggo has relocated eastwards to Edinburgh, bagged a new job and also remodelled her bowling action.
All three have taken some getting used to, but as she gets ready to board the flight for Dubai at the weekend with her fellow squad members she feels in a good place.
“It was exciting to move to Edinburgh and I am loving working for Stewart Brewing too,” Haggo, 24, said.
“I guess everything took time to settle and working out my training schedule around work and things took a wee while, but I have always had Sri Lanka in my mind from a cricket point of view to aim for.
“I was so determined to keep my place in the squad for the tournament and I knew that there was a lot of competition for places as there are lots of good young players coming up - that focuses the mind.
“We had a good summer in 2016 and our winter training really began in October under the watchful eye of head coach Steve Knox so that we could be in the best possible shape for this top level event.
“There have been a few players playing abroad this winter and they will no doubt join us in Dubai with a spring in their step.
“And for the ones like myself who have been at home in recent months we have had a good number of sessions together training in various different places and that has been brilliant.
“We have also had a lot of one-on-one time with the coaches and that has allowed us to each work on specific things that have maybe been niggling us.
“For me that meant a lot of time spent with assistant coach Peter Ross as we changed my bowling action. At first it was very frustrating because I could not quite get things right, but now my action is feeling very good and I am enjoying bowling. I feel I have good control and variation now.”
Haggo has been in and around the Scotland set-up since she was in her teens and she admits she is excited by the young talent that has come into the squad over the last couple of years.
The right arm bowler hopes to have a vital role to play out in Sri Lanka with ball in hand - and to score some runs down the order should they be required to help the team out.
“We know that conditions will be different out there and the heat will have its part to play, but the coaches and support staff have prepared us for that as best we can and, as a bowler, it will be good to get some overs under my belt outdoors in Dubai,” she stated.
“We know that we will be coming up against top opponents in Sri Lanka, but you cannot look at a team sheet and get scared by names we just have to concentrate on our own cricket, our own processes and take things from there. I cannot wait to give it our best shot.”
Scotland Women’s squad: Abbi Aitken (c), Kari Anderson (v-c), Kathryn Bryce, Sarah Bryce, Priyanaz Chatterji, Kirstie Gordon, Sam Haggo, Lorna Jack, Abtaha Maqsood, Katie McGill, Liz Priddle, Ollie Rae, Rachel Scholes, Fi Urquhart.