World Cup 2007 March 12, 2007

Brown targets Dutch battle

Cricinfo staff

Scotland have enjoyed some tough battles with the Netherlands © AFP
While the smaller nations at the World Cup dream of upsetting one of the major sides their main target is to make the most of the experience at the top level. The matches between Associate nations become their own mini-finals and Dougie Brown, the Scotland allrounder, is targeting his team's meeting with Netherlands.

The two sides meet in St Kitts on March 22 having recently completed a close tussle at the World Cricket League in Kenya, where Scotland came out on top by two runs. Both teams will already have played Australia and South Africa in the group stage, but their latest head-to-head will give a true reflection on where they stand.

"Holland is our cup final and they are the team we are playing on a level playing field," Brown told the Scotsman. "They've got some quality players, we've got some quality players and it should be a fascinating game.

"We've managed to win the last three or four games against the Dutch but they've generally been tight matches. The improvement in our squad during the past three months has been dramatic and this needs to continue in the West Indies."

But Brown added that making those strides in international cricket will always be tough while the game is played at an amateur level by most of the squad. "Without being able to dedicate time to cricket, nine to five, our development will consistently be hindered," he said. "If we play professionally then we will be able to take on any side in the world on a level playing field."

Scotland lost both their warm-up matches against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh although Brown believes the team can only gain positives over the coming weeks and enhance their reputation on the world stage.

"We can't really lose in the next few weeks because we're expected to lose," he added. "And that makes us a dangerous side - we've got good players playing good cricket with proven match-winners in our ranks.

"It's up to us to raise the profile of the game further in Scotland and hopefully secure the extra funding that we need."