Scotland to host Afghanistan for two ODIs
Scotland will host Afghanistan in two ODIs at the Grange in Edinburgh in July, as the two Associate nations set about bridging the experience gap that Scotland's captain, Preston Mommsen, recently claimed was holding back the development of cricket's second-tier nations.
The two teams met during the World T20 in Nagpur last month, with Afghanistan earning a hard-fought 14-run victory en route to qualification for the main draw of the tournament, where they also beat the eventual winners, West Indies.
Scotland also lost to Zimbabwe to confirm their early exit from the tournament, although they did eventually record their first win in an ICC event in 21 attempts when they beat Hong Kong by eight wickets.
Now they have agreed terms for a pair of rematches with Afghanistan - who also beat Scotland by one wicket in a thrilling World Cup encounter at Dunedin in 2015. The games will be played on July 4 and July 6 respectively, and will double the number of ODIs that Scotland have played since the World Cup, a point that Mommsen made in forceful terms during the World T20.
"I do go on about it, but there is a lack of international cricket for us," he told reporters in Nagpur. "Since the 2015 World Cup I have played in one ODI match [against Hong Kong] - in 12 months.
"So, you tell me how I'm going to improve my skills and develop as a cricketer. That definitely has something to do with it. Playing under pressure, being exposed to a higher level of skill, exposed to different conditions, you know it all adds up, every little percentage."
"Afghanistan have improved over the past year on the back of exposure to International cricket against full member nations," said Grant Bradburn, Scotland's head coach. "They fully deserve their current standing as one of the leading Associate nations, and we relish the chance to take them on at the Grange in July.
"Although we respect them as a quality team, we also know we have the skills to beat them again and we look forward to locking horns with them over the two match ODI series."