With two One Day Internationals versus PNG kick starting the trip, the squad then take on Ireland in the final Intercontinental Cup fixture starting on the 29th November prior to the crucial Round 7 World Cricket League Championship matches against Kenya on the 6th and 8th December.
Whilst 11 of the 14-man squad from the Round 6 matches in PNG in October are named, there are first time call ups for the Scotland based trio of Michael English, Mitchell Rao and Elliot Ruthven. All three players have played significant roles in Cricket Scotland’s Regional Series and the Scotland A Team over recent seasons.
There are some notable absences from the squad due to the recent changes to ICC Eligibility Regulations passed by the ICC in late October this year. A number of Scotland international players currently playing in the English county system have been forced to make themselves unavailable for selection at this time, in order to safeguard their county careers. Cricket Scotland is currently seeking further clarification on the ICC rule changes and implications for all players furthering their playing careers outside Scotland and continue to work closely with the players, their respective counties and the ECB.
Head Coach Grant Bradburn was full of praise for the new trio after their elevation to the squad was confirmed, “It is one of the special privileges as Head Coach to phone a new player to let him know he’s been selected to play for his country. All three players are buzzing and so excited to be selected for Dubai. While their call up to represent Scotland may have come earlier than they expected, these three young players are all desperate and well capable of taking this opportunity with both hands.”
“The selectors have held strong to our Selection Pathways and policies. We are pleased to be rewarding three young Scottish men who have all earned their opportunity through hard work and performance at Regional and A level. Now we have our team in place, we are all determined to keep focus on our job in Dubai.”
Bradburn also commented briefly on the challenges that the Scotland selectors had faced with the recent changes to international eligibility criteria, “Any distractions must not take our focus away from delivering on the field to levels like never before, which we are ready to do. Many of the players are feeling a range of emotions, which is understandable. However, times of adversity will often bring out the fighting character within. Our team will be united in wanting to use our challenging build up to create even greater resolve in playing outstanding cricket on the park in Dubai.”
The tour begins with two ODIs at the Dubai International Stadium against PNG. Scotland drew 1-1 with PNG in Port Moresby in December and the Barramundis will provide a stiff challenge and good acclimatisation for the Scotland squad ahead of their three competition matches at the same venue.
Whilst the 4 Day clash with Celtic rivals Ireland will draw significant interest as the first clash between the two sides since Ireland’s elevation to Test Status, it is the World Cricket League Championship matches with Kenya that arguably hold greatest importance and context for Scotland. One win will secure Scotland a berth at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in 2018 and with all other Round 7 matches taking place simultaneously in the UAE then the Scotland will know that a 2-0 series victory will put pressure on others in the group.
Scotland Squad:- Kyle Coetzer (C), Con de Lange (VC), Alasdair Evans, Calum Macleod, Craig Wallace, Elliot Ruthven, George Munsey, Mark Watt, Matthew Cross (WK), Michael English, Michael Leask, Mitchell Rao, Richie Berrington, Safyaan Sharif
24th Nov – Scotland v PNG, ODI Series – Dubai International Stadium
25th Nov – Scotland v PNG, ODI Series – Dubai International Stadium
29th Nov–2nd Dec – Scotland v Ireland, Intercontinental Cup – Dubai International Stadium
6th Dec – Scotland v Kenya, World Cricket League Championship, – Dubai International Stadium
8th Dec – Scotland v Kenya, World Cricket League Championship, – Dubai International Stadium