Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Cricket Scotland: Positives to take from U19’s world cup journey

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Scotland head coach Peter Ross has been reflecting on the ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup in South Africa with plenty of “positives” to take from the experience.

The showpiece competition continues until January 29, but the Scots flew home on Sunday after managing to finish their participation with a victory over USA on Friday.

Before that dramatic five wicket triumph over the Group A outfit, Scotland had lost all three Group D matches to UAE, South Africa and India to miss out on the Super Six phase.

However, in all of those games they had the opposition worried at various times, especially against UAE and South Africa, and captain Katherine Fraser and co can be proud of their efforts.

“It has been a real privilege to be at this World Cup, it has been an amazing experience for the players and the staff,” Ross said.

“Regardless of the results, everyone can be proud that they made it here through their own hard work and for Scotland to play against some of the best teams in the world was a real honour.

“Looking back at the matches, there is a bit of a feeling within the group that there were a couple of missed opportunities.

“Against UAE and South Africa we had opportunities to get the wins and to then get into the Super Six phase of the competition.

“That was our aim at the start of the event, but it just shows that playing cricket at this level – and in a World Cup – is really difficult.

“There is a lot of pressure in these types of tournaments and for the players it is now just about learning how to manage that pressure and being able to put it back on the opposition.

“Every team that we played against in the competition we challenged and put them under pressure at times, it is just about being able to consistently nail our skills.

“The only way we will be able to do that and get better at it is by playing against good teams more regularly and by qualifying for more World Cups.

“It was really fantastic to finish things off with a win over USA.

“We made it a bit a bit difficult for ourselves, but the batters really pulled it out the bag and Katherine Fraser [who led the way with a half century] showed what a quality cricketer she is.

“The team really dug in and showed character and that says a lot about them, especially as they were coming off the back of three defeats.”

So, what comes next?

“The good thing is that six or seven of the current playing group will be eligible for the next under-19 World Cup in a couple of year time and they will be able to take their experience from this one into that trip,” Ross continued.

“On the whole, the experience has been full of positives and it has given us a lot of learnings. It has given myself and the other coaching staff some really clear indicators of where we are in relation to the rest of the world and what skills we have to be working on going forward.

“We know the standards we now need to set within Cricket Scotland to be able to compete with – and beat – the best in the world.”

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