Saturday, May 25, 2024

Cricket Scotland: Burger hopes to sign off from Scotland in style

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Photo Credit: Cricket Scotland

Scotland Men’s Head Coach Shane Burger wants his side to finish their Cricket World Cup League 2 campaign – and his own time at the helm – “with a bang” over the next week.

The Scots are in Nepal where they face four fixtures in seven days from Wednesday onwards against the hosts and Namibia.

The matches will bring three-and-a-half years of effort in this One Day International competition to an end.

Although a place at the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe in June is already assured, one win from the two fixtures against Namibia will ensure Scotland finish top of the table, regardless of how other results pan out.

“We want to finish with a bang, we want to go four from four,” said Burger, who is moving to a new role as Assistant Coach and Lead Batting Coach at Somerset after the trip.

“I believe we have the players within the group to be able to do that and there is a really nice blend of experience and youth on this tour. 

We know that Nepal on their home turf will be a tough team to beat while we respect Namibia and have had some good battles with them over the years.

“As a result, we have to be focused from ball one of the first match, but I know that the boys will be because they have given me everything since I came into the job and they are in a good frame of mind ahead of these games.

“There are a number of players in this squad who have lots of caps under their belts and they are more aware than most that you are only ever as good as your last game.

“We played some decent cricket in Namibia before Christmas and won three games from four, but conditions and everything else will be different this time around and this is a new challenge for a new year.

“So, of course, we want to win all of the upcoming games, but whatever happens I am incredibly proud of this group.

“We have pretty much met every goal that we set during my time here and I have no doubt that Scottish cricket is in a pretty good place to move forward from this point once I leave my post.

“As a coach I always have my developmental hat on and if we win the first couple of games out here then that’ll perhaps give us a great chance to give the younger players an opportunity to play at the highest level under pressure.”

The younger players who may well get a chance to earn first international caps on this trip are 20-year-old Durham wicketkeeper/batter Tom Mackintosh and 19-year-old Grange all-rounder Jack Jarvis.

Mackintosh was on the tour to Namibia in late 2022, while this is Jarvis’ first taste of a trip with the full national team.

Liam Naylor, the 21-year-old RH Corstorphine all-rounder, is also with the group as a developmental player in Nepal and Burger added:  “They are doing well and they are surrounded by a wealth of experience in the shape of captain Richie Berrington, Kyle Coetzer, Matthew Cross, Chris Sole, Safyaan Sharif and others.

“They are taking them under their wing and have struck up good relationships, so it is exciting to see that dynamic develop and Tom, Jack and Liam will all benefit massively from this trip.”

Scotland’s first match is on Wednesday morning when they face Namibia in Kirtipur at 0900 local time (0315 GMT).

All matches are available to watch on ICC TV, head to https://app.icc.tv/schedule for more information.

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