Excitement is building ahead of Scotland’s first match in the men’s under-19 World Cup in South Africa which takes place on Sunday.
The 50-over-a-side age-grade showpiece event started on Friday morning with the hosts taking on Afghanistan in Kimberley and runs until February 9.
For the Scots, who have enjoyed a good couple of weeks warm-up and played some good cricket in that spell, first on the agenda is a clash with Pakistan in Potchefstroom.
And one player who is keen to make his mark in that one, if selected in the XI, is Prestwick’s Euan McBeth.
The right-arm medium-fast bowler, 18, said: “In the qualifying competition last year we knew that if we all came together as a group then in the squad we had the talent to get us through.
“It was quite high pressure, playing a number of games in a short period of time, but that was good for us because it prepared us physically and mentally for the challenges we will face here in South Africa.
“It is a dream for any young sportsperson to play in a World Cup and test yourself against the best, so we are all very excited about the next couple of weeks while also being focused on going out there, sticking to our plans and giving a good account of ourselves.
“It is also great being coached by Cedric English and Gordon Drummond because they have both played at a high level and work with us very well.
“They have prepared us well for what we are about to face and we have to have confidence in our own abilities and not be in awe of our opposition.”
There was no real history of cricket in McBeth’s family, but as soon as he headed along to his first training session at Prestwick around a decade ago he was hooked.
“I joined Prestwick at the age of nine when dad took me along and I loved it,” he explained.
“Before that I had always been into football, but soon my attention changed to cricket and when I was around 11 or 12 I started to play games for the senior second XI and was thrown in at the deep end.
“It was a bit daunting playing against adults at first, but it means you learn and grow up quickly. Bowling against adults who are stronger you have to think a lot more about your game and step up your game because the wickets are harder to come by.
“When I was 13 or 14 I managed to start getting games for the Western Warriors under-15s and that was a great honour and a few years later it is great to still be involved with the Warriors senior development squad.
“I am on a gap year just now having finished at Prestwick Academy and am part of the Cricket Scotland Performance Academy and that allows us to work at Napier University in Edinburgh which has been a big boost.
“It just allows us to focus more on our cricket, take advantage of some of the technology they have available on campus and as a seam bowler I now understand more about how to look after my body and just how important rest and recovery is between games so that you are firing when you come on to bowl in a match.”
19th January 2020 10:00 – Pakistan vs. Scotland at North West University Oval, Potchefstroom
21st January 2020 10:00 – Bangladesh vs. Scotland at Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom
25th January 2020 10:00 – Zimbabwe vs. Scotland at Witrand Oval, Potchefstroom
Angus Guy (C): Clydesdale Cricket Club
Ben Davidson: Grange Cricket Club
Jasper Davidson: Stirling County Cricket Club
Daniel Cairns: Clydesdale Cricket Club
Jamie Cairns: Grange Cricket Club
Callum Grant: Stenhousemuir Cricket Club
Sean Fischer-Keogh: Greenock Cricket Club
Rory Hanley: Benwell Hill Cricket Club
Tom Mackintosh: Grange Cricket Club
Euan McBeth: Prestwick Cricket Club
Liam Naylor: Alder Cricket Club
Charlie Peet: Grange Cricket Club
Lyle Robertson: Falkland Cricket Club
Kess Sajjad: Poloc Cricket Club
Uzzair Shah: Highfield Cricket Club