Scotland keeper hints at retirement

SCOTLAND wicketkeeper Colin Smith has revealed he could end a glittering career on a high by bowing out at the World Cup.

The record-breaking Aberdeenshire keeper last night set out on the longest tour ever undertaken by a Scottish side, with Smith and his team-mates facing a hectic schedule of 16 matches on three continents, culminating at the World Cup in the Caribbean in March.

At the end of it Smith, 34, may be ready to spark an Aussie-style spate of retirals after playing against Australia and South Africa at cricket's biggest tournament.

Before jetting out to Sharjah to face UAE in the Intercontinental Cup, the Aberdeen policeman declared: "I don't know what the future holds but it's getting harder to keep going.

"It's a huge commitment to maintain the fitness levels required these days for playing international cricket.

"When you have a career and a family to think about as well it's even more difficult."

However, the veteran gloveman, who boasts 145 catches and 36 stumpings, added: "I'm making no decisions at this stage because we're about to embark on an intensive programme of matches.

"There is some crucial cricket to be played and I'll give it 100 per cent but the World Cup might be my last big tournament for Scotland."

Several other top Scots are nearing the end of their career and may bow out after the trips to Sharjah, Kenya and the West Indies.

Meanwhile, Scotland skipper Craig Wright insists his side will be ready for the four-day clash against UAE starting next Thursday.

The Scots were caught cold during two heavy ODI defeats in Bangladesh last month but Wright said: "We've got a week to acclimatise and there will be no excuses."

Victory will secure a place in next May's final against Canada.

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