The Scotland squad that will be competing for one of two spots at the 2019 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe has today been announced.
Kyle Coetzer has been selected as captain and will lead the side against Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Zimbabwe, plus the final qualifier to be confirmed following World Cricket League Division 2 in February in Group B. The super six phase begins on the 15th March in Harare with the final of the competition set for 25th March.
The squad will depart for a pre-tournament camp in Pretoria on 15 February before the official warm-ups begin against Papua New Guinea and Ireland.
Michael Jones and Tom Sole have both been selected after their maiden international tour to the UAE in January.
Hampshire duo Brad Wheal and Chris Sole will add pace to the attack and will be accompanied by Safyaan Sharif, Stuart Whittingham and Alasdair Evans who will form a five prong pace attack that is arguably the quickest Scotland has ever seen.
Richie Berrington, who has been named as vice-captain, Matthew Cross and Calum MacLeod are expected to play an important role with the bat and provide valuable experience in the field with 444 international caps between them.
On the announcement of the squad captain Kyle Coetzer said, “We are all looking forward to the challenges ahead. The squad has been preparing efficiently, taking into consideration the conditions and the opposition we will face.
The quality of the competition ahead will be higher and better than ever before, especially with four Full Member nations also required to qualify. There is nothing to fear, it is merely something we openly speak about and embrace.
We hope to be in a position by the end of the tournament to not only qualify for the World Cup but also defend our title from the previous qualifying campaign. We have the depth within our squad to make this a reality and we will be raring to go when the opening game comes around.”
Scotland’s Head Coach Grant Bradburn added, “The challenge to qualify for the World Cup is tough for all teams, but we have selected an outstanding group who are confident and ready to take on that mission.
The squad have had an excellent preparation phase over the winter months in Dubai including quality game and planning time leading into Zimbabwe. The team are now very familiar with the style of cricket that suits our individuals, which is also a style we believe will win the World Cup qualifiers.
We have selected a nicely balanced side while the players themselves are determined to have no fear of bringing their dynamic skill sets coupled with a bloody-minded determination that reflects the prize at stake.
We welcome the new faces into the squad in Michael Jones and Tom Sole who have both adapted very quickly and shown their fantastic International qualities on the recent tour to Dubai. While the side will miss several experienced players of recent times, it contains a strong heart of quality proven players who are relishing the opportunity to step forward and dominate for Scotland.”
Con de Lange was unavailable for selection consideration, due to an ongoing health issue.
Scotland Squad in full
Kyle Coetzer (captain), Richie Berrington (vice-captain), Matthew Cross, Alasdair Evans, Michael Jones, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Chris Sole, Tom Sole, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal, Stuart Whittingham.
Scotland Fixtures (warm-up matches)
Tuesday, 27 February – Scotland v PNG, Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC)
Thursday, 1 March –Scotland v Ireland, Queen’s Sports Club (QSC)
Tournament Proper (first round):
Sunday, 4 March – Afghanistan v Scotland, (BAC)
Tuesday, 6 March – Scotland v Hong Kong, (BAC)
Thursday, 8 March – Scotland v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), (QSC)
Monday, 12 March – Zimbabwe v Scotland, (BAC)
Super Six Phase (top 3 from each pool)
Thursday 15th March – Friday 23rd
Final Sunday 24th March
Ireland, West Indies, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Div 2 WCL Qualifier 1
Scotland, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Div 2 WCL Qualifier 2