After an incredible year for Scottish cricket, Malcolm Cannon CEO reflects on 2018 and looks forward to another crucial year for the growth the game in Scotland.
“There can be no doubt that 2018 proved to be enormously successful for Scottish cricket” said Cannon. “We had some great luck with the weather which enabled the domestic season, schools cricket and our Summer Internationals to be played under fantastic conditions. With the growth of new formats and competitions including Tapeball, the Wee Bash, Table Cricket and CricHIIT it was probably our busiest ever year.
“The one disappointment in 2018 was, ironically, the weather in Zimbabwe when we narrowly lost out on an ICC World Cup place due to a DLS loss to the West Indies. Whilst not making up for this disappointment, our win versus the No1 ODI team in the world in June was arguably our greatest achievement to date.”
“We now have a clear vision for cricket in Scotland over the next ten years which is to establish it as a mainstream sport. A major milestone on the way to achieving this goal is gaining Full ICC membership which we now know is attainable in the next five years.
“Our women’s international side start the year ranked 11th and know that they have the opportunity to create history by qualifying for the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia. To achieve this they have to firstly win the European pre-qualifier at La Manga in June and then finish in the top two of global qualifier later in the year.
“This obviously presents a huge challenge to the squad, but it is one that we genuinely believe is within their reach.
“For the men’s international side, the Quadrangular tournament in February presents the perfect opportunity to play international cricket early in the season and take on Ireland again following our last encounter with them which ended in a draw.
“Following the success of attracting new fans to the inaugural Summer Internationals last year, it is important that we continue to build this as an annual event and we are therefore delighted to have attracted two Full ICC members to play in four ODI’s in May.
“Our focus for the rest of the year will switch to the T20 format with the ICC world cup qualifier in October providing a massive opportunity for us to raise the profile of cricket in Scotland.
“The development of the Tilney regional series is critical in this preparation for this and we will be announcing a modification to the series later this year. This will form part of our strategy to gain “List A status” for the series, one of several key actions required for Scotland to achieve Full ICC membership.
“Following a review of our participation and club support resources, a new regional staffing structure is being developed with the planned recruitment of five new development roles. This will further align our regions, provide additional support for clubs and assist with development within schools throughout the country.
“It is critical that we continue to recognise and support the vital elements of our sport in Scotland. The clubs, their coaches and volunteers and the young female and male players in our domestic game are not only the bedrock of the sport but also the future international stars and we will continue to listen to and work with our regional associations and clubs to develop this area of the game.”