Scotland start U19 World Cup campaign
It’s always a huge honour for any sportsman to represent their country on a global stage. This evening in Cox’s Bazar, in completely alien conditions, eleven Scottish U19 cricketers will take to the field in their opening ICC U19 Cricket World Cup match against Namibia.
The work has been constant since qualifying in July. The cold dark Scottish evenings, fitness tests, the hot sweltering heat of Sri Lanka, followed by the hustle and bustle of Bangladesh. The moment the youngsters have worked hard for is just around the corner.
Namibia will be the Scots initial Group A opposition and Coach Cedric English is expecting a competitive encounter first up, “If the U19s play way the senior Namibian team does, then we expect this to be challenging game.
With both teams playing in foreign conditions it will be down to who can execute their skills under pressure which is something both Gordon [Drummond] and I have witnessed from this current squad, particularly following the way they approached beating Ireland to qualify for the tournament.”
Preparation leading into the first game of the World Cup has had its challenges, as any team on tour will know, however the practice facilities on offer in Cox Bazar allow some insight into Bangladesh's progression in the modern game.
“Other than unfortunately losing Scotty Cameron to a back injury and Cameron Sloman stepping in at a moments notice, together with a few other ailments, preparation leading up to the first game has been good, with the team finding themselves in a number of challenging games and learning opportunities over the last 10 or so days.” concluded English.
With several friends and family making the trip to Bangladesh, the youngsters will be well supported when they enter the field of play at 9am (local time) on Friday.
With the hosts, Bangladesh and current Champions South Africa making up the rest of the Scots group, they are under no illusions of the task at hand.
There was nothing but excitement from Scotland’s U19 captain Neil Flack, “We can't wait to get out on the park and represent our country at a World Cup and hopefully we do everyone proud. Our whole winter has lead to now and there's nothing I want more to get off to a strong start to the tournament. Hopefully we can go on to make history!”