01 February 2015
Scotland ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 Tournament Preview & Guide
Scotland, a side with a mix of youth and experience, and hungry for a first World Cup win, is a team to watch out for in Pool A
Scotland has played eight matches in the tournament in the 1999 and 2007 editions and will be looking to register its first World Cup win this year.
Scotland's cricket journey began as late as 1992 after it broke away from the Test and County Cricket Board (TCCB) – the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), as it was known previously. In 1994, it became an Associate member of the International Cricket Council, and started off with a third-place finish in the 1997 ICC Trophy, before qualifying for the ICC World Cup 1999. Eight years later, it qualified for the 2007 edition.
"We have a strong squad line-up and excellent leaders in Preston and Kyle. We don't underestimate the challenge, but we have been training hard and will be bringing our absolute best to this hugely important global event."
World Cup History: Scotland has played eight matches in the tournament in the 1999 and 2007 editions. It will be looking to register its first World Cup win this year.
Pool: Scotland is a part of Pool A, with New Zealand, Australia, England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Captain: Preston Mommson
Coach: Grant Bradburn
Preview: Scotland's squad for the World Cup features the experienced Kyle Coetzer, the Northamptonshire batsman; Rob Taylor, the Leicestershire All-Rounder; Matt Machan, who plays for Sussex; and Iain Wardlaw, the Yorkshire seamer.
Majid Haq, the offspinner, with exactly 50 ODIs under his belt, is also a vital cog in the Scotland setup. He is the leading wicket-taker in the side, and if some of the pitches in Australia and New Zealand assist the slower bowlers, like they often have of late, there will be a lot for Haq to prove, given the expectations around him.
The players will surely benefit from the experience of the team’s backroom staff, comprising Grant Bradburn, the head coach, a former New Zealand Test cricketer, will be supported by Paul Collingwood, the former England All-Rounder.
Strengths: The Scotland squad is a mix of youth and experience, and is full of fight. Matt Machan, Hamish Gardiner and Richie Berrington have been among the runs in the recent tri-series involving Afghanistan and Ireland in the United Arab Emirates. On the bowling front, right-arm medium pacers Iain Wardlaw and Josh Davey have struck form at the right time. Leading from the front will be the experienced Preston Mommsen.
Recent Form: Scotland started its ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier campaign in January 2014 with a bang, defeating UAE in the final to lift the title, and in the process, qualify for Pool A of the World Cup.
Preston Mommsen's side met England in a one-off One-Day International in May, which saw Davey dismiss Jos Buttler, Ravi Bopara and Joe Root in a spell of 3 for 28 in four overs. The rain-hit game in Aberdeen, which was reduced to 20-overs per side, was eventually decided by the D/L method, with England emerging victorious by 39 runs.
Later in September, playing Ireland in Dublin, Scotland went down 1-2 in the three-match ODI series despite impressive performances from Haq and Callum MacLeod.
In January 2015, Scotland won two matches and lost one in the Dubai tri-series involving Afghanistan and Ireland, with the final match of the tournament getting washed out.
Star Player: Preston Mommsen
Mommsen took over from Coetzer as Scotland captain for its World Cup warm-up campaign in New Zealand last January.
He led from the front, amassing 520 runs in eight innings at an average of 88.66 in the tournament. In fact, his unbeaten 139 helped Scotland win the title with a 41-run win over UAE in the final. Apart from being awarded the player of the tournament for his heroics, Mommsen was also named the 2014 ICC Associate and Affiliate player of the year.
One to watch: Richie Berrington
He is the first Scotland batsman to score a Twenty20 International century – against Bangladesh in July 2012. In the recent tri-series in UAE, he scored a match-winning 62 against Afghanistan while batting at No. 6. He is also a handy right-hand medium pacer, able to chip in with a wicket or two for his side.
- Iain Wardlaw climbed Mount Everest in 2012 and once held the world record for holding his breath underwater.
- Calum MacLeod was England's 12th man during a 2009 match at Edgbaston.
- Rob Taylor bowls with his left arm but throws with his right.
- Hamish Gardiner was born in Brisbane, Australia, to Scottish parents, while Richie Berrington was born in Pretoria, South Africa.
- Matthew Cross studied engineering at the Loughborough University.
Key Match: Scotland v Afghanistan, February 26, Dunedin
Scotland's first match of the World Cup 2015 is against co-host New Zealand at the University Oval in Dunedin – a fixture for which all tickets have been sold out. Its second match is against England six days later.
But Mommsen's side would be eagerly looking forward to the contest against Afghanistan, a familiar opponent, in the third group stage match. In the last two encounters between the sides – both in the Dubai tri-series in January – Afghanistan won the first by eight wickets before Scotland fought back with a dominating 150-run victory in the second.
“The tournament is an opportunity to get on the map. You’re trying to bring the next generation through and give them something to aspire to and everyone is looking to make progress. Scotland’s fielding is world class and it’s an area where we should shine.” – Paul Collingwood, member of Scotland coaching staff
"Scotland hasn't won a game in a World Cup before so that's something we're targeting. The team have set out the goal over the next few years to become the best-ever Scottish team so putting in some good performances and getting a couple of wins would set us on the way to achieving that goal." – Craig Wright, member of Scotland coaching staff
Preston Mommsen (capt), Richie Berrington, Kyle Coetzer, Freddie Coleman, Matthew Cross (wk), Josh Davey, Alasdair Evans, Hamish Gardiner, Majid Haq, Michael Leask, Matt Machan, Calum MacLeod, Safyaan Sharif, Rob Taylor, Iain Wardlaw.
Feb 17: v New Zealand, University Oval, Dunedin
Feb 23: v England, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Feb 26: v Afghanistan, University Oval, Dunedin
Mar 5: v Bangladesh, Saxton Oval, Nelson
Mar 11: v Sri Lanka, Bellerive Oval, Hobart
Mar 14: v Australia, Bellerive Oval, Hobart