Cricket: City players form core of Lions squad

A HOST of Capital-based cricketers will spearhead the Scotland Lions challenge at the ICC Division One championships in Jersey over the next week.

The Watsonians trio of Stuart Chalmers, Ryan Flannigan and Ewan Chalmers are joined at the tournament — which sees the A side face Netherlands A, Ireland A, Jersey, Denmark and Italy — by Grange starlet Oli Hairs, Carlton seamer Ali Evans and Heriot's all-rounder Sean Weeraratna, in a young squad.

Penicuik teenager Freddie Coleman, who made his full Scotland debut earlier in the summer, is also included having finished the school term at Strathallan. All the players head into tomorrow's opener with the Netherlands A at Les Quennevais having been frustrated by the weather over the weekend with heavy rain on Saturday wiping out the SNCL card.

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Nevertheless most of them have been in good form over the first half of the domestic season and there are still places up for grabs in the full Scotland squad for upcoming matches, so they shall be out to impress.

Stuart Chalmers is the third highest wicket taker in the Premier Division in his first season at Watsonians. Since the winter move from Grange the all-rounder's game has improved and at 27 he is one of the more experienced members of the squad, captained by Clydesdale's Qasim Sheikh.

Chalmers' club mate Flannigan is still on a high having made his Scotland debut last month against India A and is likely to form an exciting looking opening partnership with Hairs in jersey.

The latter got a few starts for Scotland in the recent ICC World League in The Netherlands, but was dropped for the final on Saturday. Ewan Chalmers was also in the Scotland squad, but did not play a match. Evans looks a more controlled bowler than he was 12 months ago and he will be asked to lead the attack with Aberdeenshire's in-form Tyler Buchan, while the highly regarded Coleman will hope to find a place in the top order.

Head coach Andy Tennant said: "This competition gives our ambitious young players an excellent development opportunity and a chance to show us what they can do in a competitive tournament environment."

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