Cricket: MacLeod takes number of contracted Scots to nine
Scotland will have a record nine players on contracts this summer after it was confirmed that Calum MacLeod has been offered a deal with the Saltires.
The 23-year-old, who made his international debut in 2008, will join Richie Berrington, Majid Haq, Gordon Goudie, Preston Mommsen and Matty Parker on a full-time retainer.
Additionally, young prospects Ryan Flannigan and Safyaan Sharif have been handed part-time contracts while Cricket Scotland is also searching for a new overseas recruit to replace George Worker following his decision to remain in New Zealand.
For MacLeod, who was released by Warwickshire in 2010, it is a show of faith in his potential as a middle-order batsman following his omission from the bowling attack in the recent Intercontinental Cup victory over the United Arab Emirates. And Saltires coach Peter Steindl has challenged him to prove that he merits another crack at the county game.
“For all our players, Calum included, aspiring to get a contract down south is no bad thing,” Steindl said. “If it means we can put another player in Scotland on a contract, that’s great. If they go down south, and get exposed to regular high-level cricket, and then come back to play internationals for us, that’s a win-win.
“I would like to hope some of our contracted players would attract the interest of county cricket clubs. The key is getting the availability for them to come back here when we need them.”
Having guided his squad through a two-week training camp in Sri Lanka, Steindl takes his team back to the Gulf this week for a reunion with the UAE, playing two one-day internationals on Wednesday and Friday in Sharjah. The Scots welcome back Kyle Coetzer following his Twenty20 stint in Bangladesh and Josh Davey is expected to break off from Middlesex’s pre-season training in South Africa to report for national duty.
These are not mere warm-ups for the World Twenty20 qualification tournament which begins in just nine days’ time in Dubai. The games form part of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League, the initial route to earn a berth at the 2015 World Cup. Scotland currently sit in second place, behind Ireland. If they fall no lower by the end of next year, they will head directly to Australia and New Zealand and reap the accompanying rewards.
The financial implications are huge. Likewise is the value of such exposure. However it cannot be a factor on the field, Steindl declares. “It’s a distraction and it takes us off task,” the Australian said. “It’s important to focus on the things which can help us win games and perform to our best.
“Those things are out there, the money and the rest of it. They’re beneficial to us as an organisation. But it’s up to us to get better and better and to look long term. We’ll look to improve and that will put us in the right direction.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West