Roddy Smith tribute as Saltires assistant coach Tony Judd heads down under

RODDY Smith last night paid tribute to Tony Judd after the Australian confirmed his 
departure from Scottish cricket.

Judd has resigned as Saltires assistant coach and video analyst to become head cricket coach at the Northern Territory Institute of Sport in Darwin.

Cricket Scotland chief executive Smith said: “I’m delighted for Tony that he has been offered a really good job in his home country.

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“It is a fantastic opportunity for him and his family to start a new life in Australia, but I am obviously sad to see him go because he has been a major figure in Scottish cricket for more than a decade. He has been a valued member of the national coaching team for the last three years and, of course, no-one will forget what he achieved as part-time head coach back in 2003 and 2004. I wish him well.”

Judd, 48, arrived from Tasmania as coach of Greenock, whom he guided to unprecedented success, the Glenpark side winning five Scottish Cup titles and two SNCL premier division crowns under his guidance.

He became national coach on a part-time basis in 2003 when the Saltires announced their arrival in the English one-day league with three victories in a month – as many as they had managed against counties in the previous 20 years.

The following year, he was in charge when the Scots won their first international tournament, outplaying Canada in the final of the inaugural Intercontinental Cup. Judd was immediately offered the Scotland job on a full-time basis, but turned it down to honour his commitments to Greenock, only returning to the national fold as assistant to his fellow Australian, Pete Steindl, in 2009.

Judd said: “I have fantastic memories of my time in Scotland and it will be a wrench to leave. The job in Darwin gives me a great opportunity to work at a high level in Australian cricket, but I only accepted it because my whole family are able to come with me. That was the clinching factor.”

Toby Bailey, the Carlton coach who replaced Judd on Scotland’s current tour to South Africa, is favourite to land the role on a permanent basis.

Last night the Scots were denied a first victory on the tour when North West Dragons edged to a tense two-wicket win.

Scotland went into the 50-over encounter in Potchfestroom looking to build on the drawn three-day match against the same opponents. But they needed their lower order to fire them to a competitive total of 224-9 after the home bowlers dominated early on.

Clydesdale duo Safy Sharif and Majid Haq duly obliged with a combination of power and patience. Sharif led the way with a hard-hitting 49 at almost a run-a-ball while Haq battled his way to 41 from 79 deliveries.

Ali Evans was the pick of the Scottish bowlers with four wickets while Gordon Goudie picked up two, but they were unable to deny the Dragons.