One of the very few Scottish cricketers to have made a real contribution to England cricket in recent times, Dougie Brown played nine One-Day Internationals for England.
A key member of the Warwickshire county team since his debut in 1992 for the club, he was instrumental in Warwickshire’s dominance in county cricket with significant contribution as an all rounder.
The high points were taking the precious wickets of West Indies batsman Brian Lara to take England to the final of the Sharjah tournament as they defeated West Indies in 1997 and hitting the winning run was being the part of the England team for the inaugural ICC Champions Trophy in Bangladesh in 1998.
After announcing his retirement, his focus shifted to cricket coaching, where he coached Namibia at the 2003 World Cup after being recommended by former Warwickshire coach and ICC performance director Bob Woolmer.
He served Scotland cricket with distinction, helping them qualify for the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, after the Scots won the ICC Trophy in Ireland. He has been associated with cricket in various roles and was named to succeed Martyn Ball as the new chairman of the Professional Cricketers' Association.
Now an Academy coach at Warwickshire, which counts Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell as England regulars Brown spoke to Cricket World about his role at the Academy and his thoughts on England’s performance in the ongoing Ashes series.
Since taking over the role, he is content with the progress of the players in the academy. When asked about the players to watch out for he said it would be unfair to name a couple of them as all the players have been putting in a lot of hard work.
However, he has high hopes from Paul Best, the England Under-19 captain, Ateeq Javid and Tom Milnes, after their selection for the England Under-19 squad to tour Sri Lanka beginning January 2011 .
He was delighted on Scotland’s performance in the recently concluded ICC Intercontinental Cup, where they made it to the final - held in Dubai - before being beaten by Afghanistan. He said: “Scotland have played good cricket, however there is still scope for improvement in the batting department."
On the current Ashes battle between Australia and England, he tipped England to win the Ashes series with a margin of 3-1.
He explained: “England have played great cricket and have come good on the top of solid preparation in tour games, and the performance (in Adelaide) was flawless in all the departments of the game. England would steamroll Australia if the recent pattern of performance continued.”
With the chorus of former Australia spin wizard Shane Warne’s come back doing the rounds, he played a straight bat when quizzed on this and added, “Australia have had a good rein at the top for many years and are in transition mode which England experienced six seasons back." However he cautioned that Australia would eventually become a good outfit again in future.
As far as the current 'bowl-off' between Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan for a spot in the upcoming Perth test he opined: “Chris Tremlett’s height will trouble the Australians with the ball coming at an awkward height,” before quickly putting forward the case of Tim Bresnan who "offers a bit of batting ability to the England side.”
On a question about if Scotland and Afghanistan should now be rewarded with Test status, he suggested that he is delighted to see both teams doing well, with the platform given by the ICC and it augurs well for the promotion of the game of cricket across the globe.
Brown clarified: ”Scotland has the advantage of the infrastructure, though this has not been matched with the results on the field. Afghanistan are a steady side with some good some good spinners, though lack of facilities is cause of concern.”
© Cricket World 2010