Scotland draft in former England hero for T20 World Cup campaign

Jonathan Trott will be a specialist batting coach for Scotland.Jonathan Trott will be a specialist batting coach for Scotland.
Jonathan Trott will be a specialist batting coach for Scotland.
Cricket Scotland officials have pulled off a coup by drafting in ex-England hero Jonathan Trott to bolster their T20 World Cup campaign.

The former Ashes star was on Thursday named as a specialist batting coach as the selectors unveiled an initial squad of 17 players for the global event being held in Oman and UAE next month.

National coach Shane Burger said: “What we have in Jonathan Trott is great knowledge and experience of high-performance environments.

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“He’s played in World Cups, Ashes Series and travelled to many destinations around the world.”

Scotland have three matches coming up against Zimbabwe.Scotland have three matches coming up against Zimbabwe.
Scotland have three matches coming up against Zimbabwe.

Trott, 40, played in 52 Tests for England, scoring 3,835 runs at an average of 44 while he averaged 51 in ODIs.

Burger added: “Jonathan also understands the demands and high pressures of international sport and the environments that they bring with them and it’ll be fantastic to have him as a support in the build- up to the World Cup.”

Meanwhile, the selectors have opted for experience in the playing department with skipper Kyle Coetzer, Richie Berrington, Calum MacLeod, Safyaan Sharif, Matthew Cross and Ali Evans boasting more than 1000 caps between them.

Josh Davey, Michael Leask, George Munsey and Mark Watt, who were all in the squad for the last ICC T20 World Cup in 2016, are also included.

Dylan Budge, Chris Greaves, Oli Hairs, Chris Sole, Hamza Tahir, Craig Wallace and Brad Wheal are all attending their first World Cup.

Burger said: “This squad has worked hard over a long period of time now and deserves the opportunity to show the world what we are about. This is an experienced, versatile and exciting group of players and we’re looking forward to embracing the challenges ahead as a team.”

Scotland start the final stages of their preparations with three T20 matches against Zimbabwe in Edinburgh on September 15, 17 and 19.

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They then fly to Muscat where they will face Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Oman in the initial group phase of the World Cup.

Sharif, Scotland’s leading wicket-taker in T20 internationals, welcomed the new addition to the backroom staff and is ready to tap-in to Trott’s big-time experience.

He said: “We’re looking forward to working with him – I’m sure the guys will learn a lot especially on the mental side of the game because he has been through so much himself.

“It doesn’t matter how good a player you are if you don’t have the mental skills to match. So much about cricket comes down to mental strength and good decision-making.”

Sharif’s place in cricketing folklore may be assured after taking the match-clinching wicket in Scotland’s historic ODI win over England in 2018, but he still has unfinished business, having been omitted from the team that won a first-ever World Cup victory at the 2016 T20 tournament in India.

He recalled: “I played in the first two matches against Afghanistan and Zimbabwe but squad rotation meant I missed the win over Hong Kong so a World Cup win is still a box to be ticked for me.

“It’s going to be exciting getting back into tournament cricket because it’s something we all missed during the Covid lockdown. Now we’ll get the pride of putting the Scotland jersey on again and hopefully showing what we can do.

“There’s a real belief in the squad that we can beat any side on our day and we’re not scared of anyone.”

Scotland squad: Kyle Coetzer (captain), Richard Berrington (vice captain), Dylan Budge, Matthew Cross (wk), Josh Davey, Alastair Evans, Chris Greaves, Oli Hairs, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Chris Sole, Hamza Tahir, Craig Wallace (wk), Mark Watt, Brad Wheal. *A final squad of 15 will be named by October 10.

Backroom team: Head Coach: Shane Burger; Assistant Coach and Lead Seam Bowling Coach: Craig Wright; Spin Bowling Consultant: Chris Brown; Batting Consultant: Jonathan Trott; Strength and Conditioning: Nick Karamouzis; Physio: Karen Gibson; Wellbeing Manager: Louise Finlayson; Team Manager: Kenny Crichton; Analyst: George McNiel.