December 7, 2009

Scotland

Scotland plan three-day domestic matches

Siddhartha Talya

Scotland are planning a 'first-class structure' to their domestic competitions in a bid to improve their cricketing infrastructure and boost their chances of gaining Test status. Last week, Cricket Scotland officials announced their plans to organize a new regional tournament, featuring the country's elite players, with three teams from the three main geographical centres playing regular three-day matches.

"In effect what we are planning is a first class tier of competition although it would not have that status," Andy Tennant, Cricket Scotland's head of performance, was quoted as saying in the Herald Scotland. "The ICC are keen to ensure that their associate members have a solid infrastructure in place on and off the park and we are always trying to improve."

Tennant admitted Scotland were competing with Ireland, regarded as the leading associate nation at this point. Ireland have already voiced their interest in gaining Test status amid calls to incorporate more teams into the circuit, or reform the format by creating a tier system. "We are constantly jockeying for position with the other associate countries and Ireland probably are in pole position having been successful for the last year or two," Tennant said. "However, there are other ways you can set yourself up for sustained success and we believe a three-day competition will greatly enhance our infrastructure."

Scotland failed to qualify for the 2011 World Cup, though they still retain their ODI status. Tennant also believed the establishment of an equivalent for first-class cricket at the associate level could help secure the futures of many of the country's cricketers by filling a "black hole" at the senior level.

"This competition will provide a necessary stepping-stone from club cricket to senior representative level. It will also provide a safety net for players who previously might have slipped off our radar," he said. "There has always been a bit of a black hole where players who played for our U19s have disappeared from the scene because they weren't ready to step up to senior level. Now they will be kept involved and given the necessary back-up to ensure they reach their full potential."

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Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by Matt Robinson on (December 31, 2009, 3:16 GMT)

Great to hear. Hopefully this can serve as a crucial stepping stone to the ultimate goal of test match cricket. The idea of a comp. with other European associates could definitely something worth pursuing as well.

Posted by Phil Sutherland on (December 16, 2009, 6:16 GMT)

Recognising the overwhelming need for a proper doemstic competetion is the first step to improvement. Teenage players need a structure they can look forward to moving up & into, rather than moving out for, such as happening in Ireland with the loss of Joyce and Morgan to England. Even trying a 4 day comp. with the Dutch and Irish down the track may be worthwhile.

Posted by Ricardo Johnson on (December 7, 2009, 20:53 GMT)

well done cricket scotland. the 1st step on the ladder. who knows.....maybe in 10 years time their could be a 3/4 day british domestic league, and also maybe a british T20 tournament???

Posted by Terry Jones on (December 7, 2009, 13:20 GMT)

A 3 day first class competition is a good start for Scotland. Hopefully it will secure them the talent to move forward into eventually being a test team. The ICC really needs to expand test cricket and include the top associate teams as new test teams in a multi-tiered relegation test championship.

Posted by lutful mannan on (December 7, 2009, 11:52 GMT)

i think this step taken by scotland will led their future to test nation very soon.

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