Scotland without big names for ICup clash with Bermuda
ICC Media Release
A Scotland side shorn of many of its big names has made its way across the Atlantic to take on Bermuda in Hamilton in a four-day first-class match in the ICC Intercontinental Cup, starting on Thursday 10 July.
The Scots are without regular captain Ryan Watson, along with Gavin Hamilton, Glenn Rogers and John Blain, all of whom, according to a Cricket Scotland media release, are being rested for matches later in the season.
Former captain Craig Wright is also absent with CricketEurope reporting the player has a back injury.
There is certainly plenty of cricket to come in the second half of July and into August for the Scots, starting with another ICC Intercontinental Cup match with Canada, which gets underway on 16 July.
From there it’s on to the European Division 1 tournament at the back-end of July, including ODIs against the Netherlands and Ireland, the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier in Ireland at the beginning of August, another ICC Intercontinental Cup match, this time against Kenya, two ODIs against the Africans, and then another one against England, in Edinburgh on 18 August.
Given that volume of action there is plenty of scope for sympathy for players that also have full-time jobs but with the increase in funding announced by the ICC on Tuesday, with each top Associate receiving US$500,000 for each of the next two years, there could well be the opportunity for contracts that offer players the chance to work and play without missing out to too great a degree.
As Cricket Scotland Chief Executive Officer Roddy Smith told the BCC website on Tuesday: “There will be more money in the pot to pay players.”
That, however, is for the future. The present is that Scotland has the chance to make significant progress up the eight-team table.
It currently lies fifth and, in truth, to qualify for the final by finishing in the top two places, it needs not only to win its three remaining matches but also hope that other results go its way.
That is all unlikely but not impossible given two of Scotland’s matches are against the bottom two sides, Bermuda and Canada, and the other is against Kenya, one of its rivals for the second final berth, with Namibia looking well-placed for the other spot after five successive wins.
The Scots’ head coach Peter Steindl appears to have given up the ghost already, quoted in that Cricket Scotland media release saying: “Although Scotland cannot now hope to win the I-Cup itself, we will certainly take these matches seriously, and the players know that they represent an excellent platform for their talents.”
The two matches in Bermuda and Canada are definitely a chance for the players that have come in for the missing quintet to make their marks.
Gordon Goudie, Qasim Sheikh and Richie Berrington are all included in a 13-man squad, captained by Fraser Watts in the absence of Watson.
Cricinfo reported that subsequent to the squad announcement, left-handed batsman Omer Hussain was drafted into the squad.
The Bermuda Royal Gazette has indicated coach Gus Logie, the former West Indies batsman, will keep faith with the same squad that produced his side’s first win in the latest staging of this tournament, a 106-run success over Canada earlier this week.
The man who made the big difference was the larger-than-life left-arm spinner Dwayne Leverock who bagged match figures of 10-129, including 5-60 in the second innings as Canada foundered chasing 258 for victory.
But even though it was Leverock, Steven Outerbridge (79 in the first innings) and captain Irving Romaine (84 in the second innings to rescue the side from 78-5) that took many of the plaudits, Logie was delighted with the youngsters in the squad.
Quoted in the Royal Gazette, he said: “I think we’ve definitely seen a shift during this tour . . . a shift for the better.”
“I'll retain these players for the Scotland match and hopefully we can put on a good performance in front of our home supporters. There’s no danger of any of the players getting carried away… we must look to build upon our recent success.”
The match is a historic occasion because it is the first four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup match in Bermuda since July 2004, against the United States of America (USA). Since that point Bermuda has been working to produce a surface worthy of international matches and earlier this year the ICC deemed it fit for purpose. Bermuda lost that match against the USA by 114 runs and will hoping for a different result this time.
Bermuda (from): Irving Romaine (captain), Oronde Bascome, James Celestine, Jekon Edness, Chris Foggo, Kyle Hodsoll, Stefan Kelly, Dwayne Leverock, George O'Brien, Stephen Outerbridge, OJ Pitcher, Samuel Robinson, McLaren Smith, Ryan Steede, Rodney Trott, Tamauri Tucker.
Scotland (from): Fraser Watts (captain), Richie Berrington, Gordon Drummond, Gordon Goudie, Majid Haq, Dougie Lockhart, Ross Lyons, Gregor Maiden, Neil McCallum, Dewald Nel, Qasim Sheikh, Colin Smith (wicketkeeper), Sean Weeraratna.