Legendary Scottish men’s cricket captain Kyle Coetzer has announced he will step down as captain of the team after today’s ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series fixture in Texas against the UAE.
The skilled batter has enjoyed an accomplished tenure at the helm of the national side and is now looking forward to getting out of the driving seat to relish in the game he loves and let new talent lead the squad through an exciting period.
Today’s match will be Kyle’s 110th as captain and 214th appearance for Scotland, making him Scotland’s third most capped player in history.
His impressive track record as a player and captain speaks for itself – he was behind Scotland’s first ever World Cup century, has had more ODI runs for Scotland than any other player, more wins than any other Scottish captain and in a watershed moment for Scottish cricket, captained his country to qualify for the Super 12s in the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Crowned the ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Decade in 2020 and awarded an MBE for Services to Cricket in the same year, Kyle is a born leader who captained at under-15, under-17 and under-19 levels.
The 38-year-old Aberdonian has 6,843 runs under his belt to date and made history in 2015 when he struck Scotland’s first hundred in the World Cup – his 156 against Bangladesh was the highest score ever made by a batter from an associate nation at the time. While earlier this week his superb unbeaten century helped his team defeat the UAE.
Kyle Coetzer said: “I have thought long and hard about my decision to step down as captain of the Scotland men’s side and have decided this test against the UAE will be my last at the helm.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to lead this group through various stages in our growth and development and captain my country and I will look back on the time with such fondness. I’m extremely proud of where we have got to and I’m even more excited with where this team can go to under its next leader.
“It’s been fantastic to see how the players are managing themselves on the field recently and to effectively have more than one leader out there has been a really positive and encouraging sign for me. It was this that made me feel it was the right time to share my decision and step down.
“I’m so grateful to have been able to impact this group of players and help Scotland through this phase of cricket that I’ve been involved in. I’ve certainly given it my all and I hope the players and fans also feel it’s been a positive experience. Although part of me is sad to be stepping down, I’m happy with where the team currently sits and I’m full of anticipation about what’s to come next for us all.
“My biggest driving force over years has been to help the team have everything they need and lead them in every way I can. Moving forward I have no desire to stop playing and will be giving everything I have to my fellow players and the next captain – going out and scoring as many runs as I possibly can for Scotland remains the focus.
“We have one more game in the USA and I plan to get my head down and try to enjoy the occasion. We’ve still got points to pick up in the next couple of series and heading towards the World Cup qualifier, we want to ensure we achieve automatic qualification for the qualifying tournament, which is a real motivation for me.
“I’m extremely proud and thankful for all the efforts of my teammates and everyone who has helped me along the way. It’s been a great journey so far and there’s going to be some more exciting cricket to play yet.”
Cricket Scotland Interim Head of Performance Toby Bailey said: “On behalf of all of Cricket Scotland, the coaching staff, men’s team and Scottish cricketing community, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Kyle for all he has done during his time as captain. An incredible leader and cricketing talent, Kyle has made an unforgettable contribution to the game in Scotland, helping the team progress over the years and inspiring others.
“The captaincy is a fantastic opportunity for one of the leading lights in Scottish cricket to step up and take this team forward into an exciting new era for the sport in Scotland and I have no doubt there is a very capable new leader among them. We are all looking forward to seeing what Kyle continues to do on the field as a player and wish him all the very best for this next chapter.”
Kyle’s successor will be appointed before the team’s next series in July against Namibia and Nepal. The coaching team will decide on who takes up the role in consultation with senior players and Cricket Scotland Interim Head of Performance based on players’ leadership skills and presence, behaviour, strategy, values and passion for the badge.