Cricket: Drop of the Wright stuff can aid young Scots in World Cup bid
Barely an hour had passed at the end of his one and only trip to a World Cup before Craig Wright, below, called time on his captaincy. It had been a memorable era, as Scotland had nibbled at professionalism while establishing themselves among the best of the rest. Yet the moment had come, he felt, to pass on the baton, to allow the next generation to plot its own path on to one-day cricket’s greatest stage.
They’ve not made it back since Wright’s side returned winless from St Kitts in 2007. Hope, he says, springs eternal. And in his current guise as the national youth coach, he has invited optimism when Scotland’s young tyros test themselves this week at the Under-19 World Cup in Australia.
Hosted entirely within Queensland, the 16-team field has been divided into four groups with the Scots opening up against New Zealand today before ties with much fancied Pakistan tomorrow and Afghanistan on Wednesday. The top two in each pool advance into next week’s Super League from which the eventual winners will be drawn. Solely on reputation, most will have firm preconceptions on which two sides will drop into the consolation competition.
But not Wright, not after his team lost just twice in 23 games during the qualification process. “They’ve exceeded expectations up to this point so we go in with some confidence,” he declares.
Many are pursuing careers south of the Border already. Freddie Coleman, the solitary senior cap, has received glowing reports from Warwickshire. A number of others, including the captain Paddy Sadler, are combining the sport with degrees at England’s cluster of first-class cricketing universities. “For all our young players, it has to be the ambition to go on and play county cricket, or for Scotland, or both,” Wright declares. ICC Under-19 World Cup
First Round (Group B).
Today: Scotland v New Zealand
Tomorrow: Scotland v Pakistan
Wednesday: Scotland v Afghanistan
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
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Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
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