Scotland news June 19, 2017

Coetzer renews Scotland plea for more opportunities

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In a 10-day season, Scotland beat Full Members Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe convincingly © Peter Della Penna

On May 21, Scotland's home season began in momentous fashion with a seven-wicket demolition of Sri Lanka. On June 15, they secured another famous win, beating Zimbabwe by 26 runs. Now, after just 10 scheduled days of cricket, it's all been wrapped up.

"We play 10 days of cricket and that's our season over. Where are we meant to go?" Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer told ESPNcricinfo. "It's just the frustration. We feel we're playing good cricket. We just want to play more cricket. Ten days of cricket in our season just isn't enough, clearly.

"So we need to find ways around that. I guess we need some support too, to make sure we can get those extra fixtures. Fair play to Zimbabwe coming here and playing us in a couple of games. They like the idea of playing cricket and so do we, so we need to try and do that a bit more often."

One of the main legislative points of this week's ICC annual conference is to determine whether Ireland and Afghanistan, the two preeminent Associates, should be granted Test status. Along with the right to play five-day matches, the increased funding and fixture opportunities are of great significance to up and coming teams.

Scotland, however, are starting to get left behind. They are one of six Associates with ODI status, but lack a place on the 12-team World Cup qualification rankings table. While there is traditional lip service during World Cups about getting more games arranged for Associates against Full Members, Scotland's series against Zimbabwe comprised their first ODIs against Full Members since the 2015 World Cup.

Even with such limited opportunities, Coetzer said his side showed against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe that they are on the rise. "I think it's pretty clear to see that the gap is getting closer and closer. Obviously on our behalf, having won the two games we have throughout this ten-day period is pretty massive for us. We need to be playing more cricket, it's as simple as that."

There is a chance that Zimbabwe Cricket might invite Scotland over for a reciprocal tour in the coming months. The team's captain Graeme Cremer said as much after a series-levelling six-wicket victory on Saturday. "We've enjoyed Scotland, the people are great here and they've looked after us. We'd love to come back here. We're looking to have them later on in the year come to us. So that would be good if we can form that relationship with them because they play tough cricket. We know that and it's good to have opposition that gives you a tough time."

'It's just the frustration. We just want to play more cricket. Ten days of cricket in our season just isn't enough clearly' - Kyle Coetzer © Peter Della Penna

This series, in addition to helping Zimbabwe build up to a tour of Sri Lanka starting June 30, was also a chance to get accustomed to conditions considering Scotland and Ireland have jointly bid for the rights to host the 2018 World Cup Qualifier in April. Likewise, Scotland would also benefit from an advance series in Zimbabwe should the qualifying tournament be held there.

"We knew with us coming here, we need to assess conditions in case we do play [the 2018 Qualifier] here," Cremer said. "We're hoping we'll get the bid and have it in our home country but that's not up to us. It's nice to come and see what you might be up against and we might meet Scotland in a crucial game in the Qualifiers so it's good to play these teams and know what we're up against."

Meanwhile, Netherlands - who host Zimbabwe for three ODIs this week - sit three points clear of Scotland on the WCL Championship table. The winner of that competition is expected to be the 13th team in the proposed ODI League to be used to determine the teams that play the 2023 World Cup.

"After beating Namibia and then Namibia coming back and beating us, it's clear to see that gap [at the lower end] is even closer too," Coetzer said. "Namibia came over with a very strong team having lost in the final of the Cricket South Africa [provincial] competition. So they're not a bad team at all. They're a good cricket team and there are a lot of good cricket teams in that WCL.

"For us, looking at the situation where we are at the moment, we've lost two games. That's all we've lost in the WCL so far: played 10, lost two. Where we sit is where we sit. You can't expect sides to go out and win every single one of their games. How is that meant to happen?

"But what we do know is that we need to play more cricket. We need more fixtures like this [against Zimbabwe] and more of an even share of some of that money that's going around because that will help us go a long way, help us keep our players in the game as long as possible."

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna

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  • southpawklepto on June 21, 2017, 11:01 GMT

    According to me, ECB should take more responsibility to spread cricket in europe, there are really potential full members line up there to join ICC. to start with ireland we all see their skills in 07cwc vs zim,pak,bng. in 11cwc vs eng, in 15cwc vs wi, zim,uae. secondly i would like to come to neitherlands there small pool of players with good potential stunt england twice int t20wc showed their brillance. third team i want to include is scotland, they too are very matured side. they recently defeated zimbabwe only, but they can make more upsets than that for sure. the ECB should organize some kind of tournaments like [asia cup] for mens, U19, U23, A sides, women tournaments between european countries on regular basis like asia cricket is doing, Countries like Denmark, Jersey, Guernsey are in next fry from europe. I dont know why england is not doing something. if they(england) help them, it will be good for cricket. more compitition come, good for health of cricket.

  • StarHawk on June 20, 2017, 23:32 GMT

    @True Cricket Lover, I like your idea. But instead of a WC, there should be an Emerging National Cup for each region, similar to the Asian Emerging Nations Cup. India, SL, Pak, and Bangladesh sends their 'U-23' teams while the likes of Nepal, Afghanistan etc. sends their full strength squad.

    Similarly, they should have something for Europe & Pacific....where the likes of England, Australia and NZ send their 'A' teams against Netherlands, Ireland, Scotland, PNG etc.

    Something similar can also be done in Africa where SA sends their 'A' team to face Zimbabwe, Namibia, Uganda, Kenya etc.

  • true-cricket_lover on June 20, 2017, 18:32 GMT

    How about conducting a "A-World cup" with Top -8 countries sending their A-teams and full pledged Teams from WI, ZIM, SCOTLAND, IRE, NETHERLAND, AFG, NAMIBIA, UAE, NEPAL and PNG. Surely this type of tournaments offer enough game time for both Associate Countries and fringe players of Top-8 countries to prove their talent

  • nair_ottappalam on June 20, 2017, 10:58 GMT

    I think, sub-continent teams visiting England, should go and play a few ODIs in Scotland and Ireland. This not only gives them ample practice before taking on the strong English side in similar conditions, but also goes a long way in improving the standard of the games in these two countries. With the victory over a comparatively strong Sri Lankan side, Scotland is gaining confidence. India, Sri Lanka can also think of scheduling a triangular ODI tournament involving Scotland while they invite some full fledged members to their nation for bilateral series.

  • amit_ on June 20, 2017, 10:30 GMT

    After Afghanistan & Ireland, ICC should look to promote Scotland, Netherlands, Nepal, PNG, Namibia & Hong Kong as test playing nations by 2022-2024. 18 teams in 2 tiers with teams in tier 2 should be allowed to play tier 1 teams in tests

  • amit_ on June 20, 2017, 10:27 GMT

    Scotland should get more matches. Any team travelling to England should look to play Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands in ODIs & T20Is

    West Indies are touring England in Aug-Sep. Scotland should try to get 2 ODIs against West Indies before that series. And ICC need to ensure Scotland, Netherlands, Hong Kong and maybe PNG & Namibia get atleast 8 ODIs & 4 T20Is every year against big teams. And ODI status teams need to be increased to about 20. All teams in WCLC should have ODI status

    It's disappointing to see teams like Scotland, Hong Kong & PNG not even getting ODIs when they have the ODI status

  • Mysterybowler on June 20, 2017, 10:15 GMT

    ALFERS completely missing the point as usual I see. I'm a Scottish follower of both Scottish and English cricket, and the point Coetzer and Preston Mommsen have both made recently is that Scottish players, along with players of other Associates, need more opportunities to represent their country and thereby raise the profile of the game within their respective countries. Of course individual players can choose to pursue professional careers in England or elsewhere, but what does that do to develop the domestic game or spread the appeal of cricket? I know most English people think the world revolves around England, but please try to take a wider view occasionally!

  • AsHakil on June 20, 2017, 9:02 GMT

    Pakistan has large number of players and many first class teams if invited Pakistan can send their A team to Scotland, it will be a good exposure for both. Scotland would get a chance to play against quality opposition.

  •   Rohit Davidson on June 20, 2017, 8:35 GMT

    It is time that Netherlands, Scotland, Ireland, Afghanisthan, Namibia and maybe even Nepal or Oman, UAE etc be given provisional Test and ODI status. This pool is then allowed to play each other and also with the regular Test Playing nations (with a minimum quota of say 2-3 matches every 1-2 years with all the test playing nations). The revenue is shared and hence slowly but steadily the game will become popular. If the current trend continues, good players from Assciates will start taking up other career options, or in case of Ireland and Scotland keep preferring to play for County sides and hoping to qualify for England one day.

  • ajithabey on June 20, 2017, 6:06 GMT

    ICC must increase the number of Test playing countries so that Scotland,Ireland,Afghanistan,Kenya,Namibia,Netherlands,Nepal,Canada,Oman, UAE etc in order to sustain,expand & promote the level of test cricket at least in two tiers with a promotion & demotion scheme in place. Why do they restrict test cricket to a selected few in this modern day is always intriguing.Take a cue from Football and try to go forward instead of sticking to age old practices.

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