Scotland are aiming to play consistent cricket during the the ICC World Cricket League Division One which takes place in the Netherlands from 1 to 10 July.
Scotland finished sixth in the ICC World Cricket League Division 1 in South Africa last year which incorporated Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 sides and also served as the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier. which meant they failed to qualify for the ICC World Cup, although they did retain One-Day International status.
Only Gordon Goudie, Majid Haq and Neil McCallum survive from that squad as Scotland attempt to rebuild with a number of young players being given the opportunity to shine.
Captain Gordon Drummond has only recently been appointed on a full-time basis, taking over from Gavin Hamilton ahead of the tournament, although he has led Scotland to the top of the ICC Intercontinental Cup standings.
“The target we have set for ourselves in the forthcoming event is to be as consistent as possible, day after day,” he said.
“We want to win every game as there is no point in winning one game and then being routed in the next. To achieve consistency we will have to bowl, bat and field well throughout the tournament.
“We realise that we are nearing the end of our rebuilding phase and most of the players are now pretty used to playing at this level. They exactly know what sort of pressure there is at this stage and what they need to do to be at the top of their games.
“There is no pressure on us as we’ve being playing well as a group. There is plenty of confidence within the ranks and we just need to convert that confidence and talent into winning performances and put pressure on the tournament favourites. We have to show what we can do as a team,” said the 29-year-old all-rounder who has played 13 ODIs.
Drummond believes that despite losing an ODI to the Netherlands earlier this month, his players will have gained from the experience.
“Even though we’ll not be playing at the same ground, I don’t think the Netherlands will now be an alien place for some of our players as the tour will have given them some indication of the conditions they’re likely to face in the ICC World Cricket League Division 1. It’s always handy to have first-hand information and I think we have managed to collect some valuable data.
“While I think every team will have an equal chance to win the tournament, Ireland and Afghanistan will start off as favourites due to their recent results.
“Ireland is the benchmark for the Associate Member countries while Afghanistan has recently played some very exciting cricket. Both the sides played in the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies which should give them a lot of heart too,” he added
“There’s no doubt that we’re disappointed at missing out on the ICC World Twenty20 2010 and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
“Every player wants to be part of global events of those magnitude and we’re no different. The experience of playing in those events would have helped in our development. However, we now have to ensure that we qualify for the next global events by doing well in the qualifying events whenever and wherever they are staged,” he said.
Scotland squad: Gordon Drummond (captain), Richie Berrington, Ewan Chalmers, Josh Davey, Gordon Goudie, Majid Haq, Omer Hussain, Neil Laidlaw, Douglas Lockhart, Ross Lyons, Neil McCallum, Gregor Maiden, Preston Mommsen, Matthew Parker, Fraser Watts.
Schedule of Scotland’s matches
Thursday 1 Jul – v The Netherlands, VRA Amstelveen
Saturday 3 July – v Canada, VRA Amstelveen
Monday 5 July – v Ireland, VCC Voorburg
Wednesday 7 Jul – v Kenya, VOC Rotterdam
Friday 9 Jul – v Afghanistan, VOC Rotterdam
Saturday 10 Jul – Play-off (venue, opponent tbc)
© Cricket World 2010