Scotland Head Coach Shane Burger has named his final squad of 15 players for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup a week ahead of his side’s first match against Bangladesh.
From the squad of 17 who have taken part in the warm-up matches in the UAE, seamer Chris Sole and batter Oli Hairs are the two who miss out on final selection. Sole will remain with the squad as a reserve but, following a shoulder injury sustained against Papua New Guinea on Friday, top order batter Oli Hairs will return to the UK for treatment. He’ll be replaced as a travelling reserve by 23-year-old Durham right-hander Michael Jones, who will fly out immediately to join up with the squad.
“It’s been a very tough decision because we have a lot of depth currently in Scottish cricket,” explained Burger. “There’s a lot of skill, talent, versatility and adaptability within the squad and many of them have put their hands up at various times recently, We’ve also tried over the last 18 months, even during Covid, to look forward to this World Cup and think what the combinations would be.
“I’m really excited for the spin bowling attack that we can put together. We have a wrist spinner in Chris Greaves who has done well in his last two outings for Scotland, and then obviously we have the two left-arm spinners in Hamza Tahir and Mark Watt, who are consistent performers as well as Michael Leask, who is in the form of his life at the moment with both bat and ball.
“From a seam bowling point of view, we have the evergreen Safyaan Sharif who is one of the best death bowlers around, along with Josh Davey and Brad Wheal coming off really good county seasons. And then you’ve got Ally Evans with his height who has had a fantastic season and probably been one of our better bowlers recently.
“From a batting point of view, we have the power of George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer up front. It’s really disappointing to lose Oli Hairs. It’s a massive loss for us, but we also know there are people like Matthew Cross, Calum MacLeod, Richie Berrington and Dylan Budge who can come in and can really play well in the top and middle order.
“As a squad we feel we’re covered, and this has been a long time coming. There’s been a lot of hard work that’s gone into it, a lot of thinking, so credit to the selectors and everyone else who has helped with that. We are excited, we’re looking forward to the World Cup.”
Scotland have had a successful start to their World Cup build up, winning all three of their matches played in Cricket World Cup League 2 in Oman, before taking wins over Ireland and Papua New Guinea this week and suffering just one loss against Namibia.
They have two further warm-up matches before the competition starts with matches against the Netherlands and Namibia on Tuesday and Thursday.
Scotland face Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Oman in Round One of the World Cup with the top two teams from the group progressing to the Super 12s.
Scotland Squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
Kyle Coetzer (captain)
Matthew Cross (wk)