Dubai, March 07, 2012: Scotland captain Gordon Drummond says the side’s never say die attitude is one of the attributes which will help the side to excel at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2012 which is set to be played this month across five venues from 13-24 March.
Drummond said ahead of the tournament: “First and foremost we are a team that has a never say die attitude and always believe we can win from anywhere. The current squad has a good balance of power hitters, touch players, quality spinners, accurate seamers and a dynamic fielding unit and we feel this is what is needed to be successful in this tournament.”
The 31-year-old bowling all-rounder picked out some key players in the squad including spin duo Majid Haq and Preston Mommsen: “I guess if I was to pick out a couple of players Richard Berrington and Calum MacLeod have been in good form with the bat and can score quickly enabling us to set decent totals they are also top fielders and Berrington also supports well in the bowling department.
“Majid Haq and Preston Mommsen will also be crucial for us in the spin department in the conditions in UAE, both guys will also have a big role to play with the bat and are good finishers to the innings.”
Scotland last featured in the ICC World Twenty20 back in 2009 when it played in event when it was hosted in England, according to Drummond the side has evolved since its last outing at the global event.
“Since the ICC World Twenty20 2009 in England we have had a big change in playing personnel, a number of the 2009 squad have retired and been replaced by the new crop of younger players.
“The coaching staff has worked hard to create an honest, positive and hard-working ethos amongst that squad to build on the ability and talent that was already there. The current squad are now more experienced and have been involved in tournaments and big games over the last few years which will give us confidence going in to the tournament,” said the Miegle-born cricketer.
Drummond said the preparation for the side ahead of the qualifiers has been extensive: “Our preparation for the T20 qualifiers involved a six week winter training phase at the national academy in Edinburgh where the guys were doing four sessions a week.
“Following this we spent some time in Sharjah for our I-cup match and then have had an intense training camp in Colombo which has been a mixture of skills training, fitness sessions and matches against state teams, Canada and Sri Lanka A.
“The preparations have been good particularly the training camp in Colombo where the conditions and opponents have been challenging, this will give the squad confidence going into a tough schedule in the qualifiers.”
Drummond’s Saltires qualify for the event by virtue of being one of the top six Associate and Affiliate sides in the world and the team features in Group B alongside Ireland, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Oman, Italy and USA and the right-handed batsman admits the side is lucky to have had playing experience against every team in its group, a rare feat with so many sides in the event.
“Luckily for us we have had previous experience in playing against every opposition in our group. We have played many matches against the other European sides and played Uganda and Kenya in a tour to Kenya a couple of years ago.
“We toured Namibia in September last year and we learnt a lot from the side when we were playing on their home soil. All the teams in the group are dangerous and in the shorter format of the game are capable of beating each other.”
To qualify for another ICC World Twenty20 would mean a world of opportunities admits Drummond: “Qualification will give the squad an opportunity to play in an event against the best teams in the world at a global event and it would mean the players can put their skills to the test against the best players in the world.
“Many of the squad have never been to an ICC Cricket World Cup or an ICC World Twenty20 so this would be a great opportunity for them to experience everything that goes with a major event such as the one in Sri Lanka.
“It will also increase the exposure of our sport in our own country and across the world and maybe inspire youngsters to take up the sport which is always something I’m keen to see happen since I work in cricket development in Scotland.”
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