World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015
Rejuvenated Scotland aiming for trophy glory
REJUVENATED Scotland enter the tournament on the back of an excellent T20 series win away in Ireland last month - a victory which earmarks them as serious contenders for the title.
The turnaround in their fortunes over the past 18 months has been quite remarkable, much of which can be attributed to their new head coach - the affable Grant Bradburn.
The former New Zealand international has instilled a positive work ethic in the talented squad, and his no fear of failure approcah is paying serious dividends.
He spoke with CricketEurope on the eve of the tournament, and struck a quietly confident tone.
"The Scotland squad have enjoyed an excellent build up to the qualifiers and we are very much looking forward to performing on home soil in Edinburgh," said Bradburn.
"We are very familiar with the two fantastic venues of The Grange and Goldenacre where we will be playing our pool matches. Our simple aim is to win the Qualifying tournament."
Bradburn is excited about the current crop of players, which has an exciting blend of youth and experience, including a number of T20 specialists.
"There is a fantastic vibe and freshness in the squad. We have a number of familiar names, but fresh faces have earned the right to be selected in our squad including Mark Watt, George Munsey, Craig Wallace, Con de Lange and Gavin Main.
"We have seen some outstanding individual performances throughout the Pro Series and during our series win v Ireland. There is a nice air of confidence in the squad and trust in each other's skills. We intend to play an attractive brand of cricket, aligned to the dynamic skills we have throughout our balanced squad."
Bradburn outlined the benefit the squad had in playing in the World Cup earlier this year, and provided a benchmark of where Scotland need to improve.
"The CWC has been very valuable in showing us all where the bar of international cricket lies. The Scotland team are determined as a group to keep moving forward continuing to improve our international standing.
"There is now healthy competition for Scotland Caps within our home club competitions and among our County based players. A number of home based players have moved forward and demanded T20 selection with recent significant performance, which is hugely encouraging for the future of Scottish Cricket."
Star Man: Calum MacLeod. The Durham man strikes the ball cleanly and can hit the ball in unusual positions, which can be difficult for opposing captains to defend.
Players to watch: Matthew Cross was a revelation in the Ireland series with his power hitting. Richie Berrington can be explosive in the middle order, while Michael Leask has the power to clear the boundaries in the later overs.
CricketEurope prediction; Scotland to qualify, with a top three finish very much on the cards.
SCOTLAND: Preston Mommsen (captain), Richie Berrington, Kyle Coetzer, Matthew Cross, Josh Davey, Con de Lange, Alasdair Evans, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Rob Taylor, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt.