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Two uncapped players in Scotland squad for Oman tour

Scotland news

Scotland Men have announced a 14-strong squad for their tour of Oman, including two uncapped players, Adrian Neill and Chris Greaves.

Renowned for his height, Neill plays county cricket in England for Gloucestershire, though he is yet to make his first team debut for the club. He has impressed for Scotland A recently, and acting head coach Toby Bailey, in charge following Grant Bradurn’s appointment as Pakistan fielding coach, says he is finally able to make full use of his formidable frame.

“We are delighted that Adrian Neill has developed so much in the last year with the help of Gloucestershire and Owen Dawkins who will also join the coaching staff for the tour,” he said. “Adrian now has the engine and skills to match his 6-foot-8 frame to be a real menace at international level.”

Scotland had an excellent tour of Oman earlier in 2019
Scotland had an excellent tour of Oman earlier in 2019

Greaves is a leg-spinner, and wrist-spin is perhaps the one area Scotland’s attack has been lacking, with strong pace and finger-spin options elsewhere. Slow bowling could prove key in the UAE, and Greaves comes in fresh from experience training with some of the best in the business.

“We also wanted to introduce the leg spin skill set of Chris Greaves and it will be exciting to see this other dimension added to our spin unit,” said Bailey. “He also adds strength to the batting line up down the order and has recently been training with Pakistan in South Africa, learning from Yasir Shah and Shadab Khan.”

Another member returning to the squad is Ruaidhri Smith, who played both his ODIs so far in the space of three days in 2016. The right-arm seamer comes into the squad off the back of a solid season for Glamorgan in county cricket, in which he averaged under 30 in first-class cricket and claimed career-best T20 figures of 4/6 in the T20 Blast.

Dylan Budge has been left out after struggling during his first international stint
Dylan Budge has been left out after struggling during his first international stint

“We are also excited to see Ruaidhri Smith back in the squad after a successful T20 campaign with Glamorgan, including a 4-6 against Middlesex,” said Bailey. “He will not only add strength to our seam attack but also to the batting and fielding unit. Ruaidhri also impressed in La Manga and it will be great to see him back in a Scotland shirt.”

The notable absentees from the squad are pace trio Brad Wheal, Chris Sole, and Stuart Whittingham. Dylan Budge has also been left out after failing to pass 24 in his seven appearances for Scotland in 2018.

Scotland will play in a T20I quadrangular series involving Oman, Netherlands and Ireland before taking on the hosts in three fifty-over games. The T20Is begin on 13 February.

Squad: Kyle Coetzer (c), Richie Berrington, Matthew Cross, Ally Evans, Chris Greaves, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Adrian Neill, Safyaan Sharif, Ruaidhri Smith, Hamza Tahir, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt

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