ECC European Championships July 7, 2004

Hamilton set for Scotland comeback

Wisden Cricinfo staff

After a four-year wait, Hamilton is back for Scotland © Getty Images

Gavin Hamilton will continue his long-awaited return to Scottish colours at the ECC European Championships in Holland later this month. Hamilton, 29, was born in Scotland but after a solitary Test appearance for England in 1999, has had to wait the mandatory four years to be eligible to play for Scotland again.

Hamilton was one of Scotland's leading performers at the ICC Six Nations Challenge in the United Arab Emirates in February this year, where USA beat Scotland by 0.028 on net run rate to win the tournament. Hamilton scored 209 runs in five innings during the competition, but did not take a wicket. He has played five one-day internationals for Scotland, all at the 1999 World Cup, scoring 217 runs at an excellent average of 54.25.

Hamilton has been released by Durham to play at the championships, but Dougie Brown, who also had a good Six Nations Challenge, will remain in England to fulfil his county commitments with Warwickshire.

Scotland have never won the European championships, but put in a strong performance against Holland in an Intercontinental Cup match last month, though the game finished in a draw. However, they have won just one game in the Totesport National League this season, beating Durham by six wickets in Edinburgh, and are bottom of Division Two.

Scotland also have injury worries, with Craig Wright, the captain, Paul Hoffman and Stewart Bruce all on the wounded list, though they are expected to be fit in time for the championships. Hamilton may have to pull out of the squad at the last minute too, as his wife is close to giving birth to their first child.

Wright believes Scotland's performances at the championships will serve as a good indicator of how far they have progressed as a national team.

"Everything we do, whether it's the Scottish Saltires competing in the totesport matches, or the European Championships, is preparation for the World Cup qualifiers next year in Ireland," said Wright, adding, "It's important that we keep doing all we can to push our case at International Cricket Council level for achieving our goal of one-day international status."

Scotland squad Craig Wright (capt), Ryan Watson, Fraser Watts, Cedric English, Colin Smith (wk), Gavin Hamilton, Stewart Bruce, Bruce Patterson, Paul Hoffmann, Dewald Nel, Ian Stanger, Douglas Lockhart, Asim Butt, Gregor Maiden.

Tournament Itinerary
July 18 - Ireland v ECB at Utrecht
July 19 - Holland v Scotland, Denmark v ECB at Deventer
July 20 - Denmark v Scotland at Rotterdam, Ireland v Holland at Utrecht
July 21 - Ireland v Scotland at Deventer
July 22 - Holland v ECB at Rotterdam, Denmark v Ireland at Utrecht
July 23 - Scotland v ECB at Utrecht
July 24 - Holland v Denmark at Rotterdam