Scotland dip into county talent
Scotland have included four English county regulars in their fifteen-man squad to play in South Africa next month. The players are eligible for Scotland because of a change in ICC regulations which allows cricketers with British passports and Scottish parentage, instead of only those who were born or live in Scotland as was the case before, to play for the country.
The quartet are Matt Machan who plays for Sussex as a top order batsman, Robert Taylor, the 22-year-old Leicestershire allrounder and wicketkeepers David Murphy of Northamptonshire and Richard Coughtrie from Gloucestershire. Integrating the players into the squad is part of Scotland's long-term plan to build a side that will be able to qualify for the 2014 World Twenty20 and the 2015 World Cup.
"Cricket Scotland has always taken great pride in its teams having a majority of home grown cricketers, who are products of our excellent age group and academy system," Andy Tennant, the head of performance said. "This will always be our aim. However where we can supplement our squad with eligible Scots who have been developed elsewhere, we will."
One other uncapped player has been included in the squad, allrounder Michael Leask, while the rest of the party includes familiar faces such as Richie Berrington and Gordon Goudie. They are missing two regulars with regular captain Gordon Drummond having work commitments and Kyle Coetzer on honeymoon.
The squad will spend a month in South Africa from October 6. They will be based in Potchefstroom, considered one of the best facilities for training purposes given its proximity to the university and equipment available there. It was used by England for a bowling camp late last year, is the venue of choice for Australia during ICC tournaments in South Africa and it was the base of Spanish football team ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
They will play matches under first-class conditions, plus 50-over and 20-over fixtures mostly against South African amateur sides, Highveld Strikers and North-West Dragons. The camp begins with a marquee match day on October 9, when Scotland play IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders and South African franchise Highveld Lions on the same day. Both KKR and the Lions will be preparing for the CLT20, which will be hosted in South Africa.
Squad Richie Berrington, Richard Coughtrie, Josh Davey, Alistair Evans, Ryan Flannigan, Gordon Goudie, Majid Haq, Moneeb Iqbal, Michael Leask, Matt Machan, Calum MacLeod, Preston Mommsen (capt), David Murphy, Safyaan Sharif and Rob Taylor
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent