Scotland turn to Collingwood
Paul Collingwood, captain of county champions Durham and the former England batsman, will lead Scotland through the World Cup qualifiers after being named as new joint head coach.
Collingwood had been assistant to Pete Steindl, who has been silently removed after failing to achieve qualification to the World Twenty20 finals in Bangladesh. Scotland lost in the play-offs to the Netherlands.
Remarkably, in an announcement of breathtaking disingenuousness, Steindl's name was absent from a Cricket Scotland statement, but he has been replaced after six years in office on the brink of his team leaving for a World Cup qualifier in New Zealand.
A brief statement, on the Cricket Scotland website read: "Paul Collingwood will lead the Scotland coaching team at the forthcoming World Cup Qualifying event in New Zealand, in conjunction with performance development manager Craig Wright.
"The team will be managed by Euan McIntyre together with performance analyst/fielding coach Toby Bailey, strength and conditioning coach Simon Smith and physiotherapist Mhairi MacPhail.
"All were part of the Scotland coaching and support team at the recent tournament in the United Arab Emirates, with Collingwood and Wright stepping up from their assistant coaching roles to lead the team."
Neither Collingwood nor Wright has previously taken charge of a senior cricket team, and their commision will last roughly a month as they attempt to rouse Scotland's spirits.
Their failure to reach the finals of World Twenty20 was harder to bear as three sides of similar pedigree - United Arab Emirates, Nepal and Hong Kong - all qualified, furthering the notion that while other countries improve, Scottish cricket is in the doldrums.
Scotland must face all those three sides in the World Cup qualifiers, inviting the belief that something must change overnight if they are to have any prospect of qualifying from Group A. Collingwood has now been tasked with creating that miracle.
Kyle Coetzer, Scotland's captain, said: "There are three good teams there in Hong Kong, Nepal and the UAE, that we recently played against at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2013 and that qualified for the ICC World Twenty20 2014 while we didn't, so recent form suggests it will be tough for us early on.
Once the group stages are competed, only the top two teams - the finalists after the Super Six stage - will qualify for the World Cup proper.