New captain Drummond calls for consistency

Tue, Jun 22, 2010 5:39 PM

Consistency will be Scotland's top priority when it goes head to head with five other sides from the Associate and Affiliate world in the ICC World Cricket League Division 1 which takes place in the Netherlands from 1 to 10 July.

Scotland finished sixth in the ICC World Cricket League Division 1 in South Africa last year which incorporated Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 sides and also served as the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier. As such, it failed to qualify for the ICC's flagship event which will be held next year in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka from 19 February to 2 April.

Scotland has retained only Gordon Goudie, Majid Haq and Neil McCallum from the side that participated last year in South Africa.

In the inaugural tournament in Nairobi in early 2007, Scotland reached the final where it lost to Kenya by eight wickets. In that event's group stage, Scotland defeated Ireland (by three wickets), Canada (by seven runs), the Netherlands (by two runs) and Kenya (by 77 runs) before losing to Bermuda (by five wickets).

Both Haq and McCallum were integral components of that side when they scored 203 and 129 runs, respectively. Haq also took eight wickets in the tournament.

"The target we have set for ourselves in the forthcoming event is to be as consistent as possible, day after day," said Scotland captain Gordon Drummond. "We want to win every game as there is no point in winning one game and then being routed in the next. To achieve consistency we will have to bowl, bat and field well throughout the tournament.

"We realise that we are nearing the end of our rebuilding phase and most of the players are now pretty used to playing at this level. They exactly know what sort of pressure there is at this stage and what they need to do to be at the top of their games," Drummond said.

"There is no pressure on us as we've being playing well as a group. There is plenty of confidence within the ranks and we just need to convert that confidence and talent into winning performances and put pressure on the tournament favourites. We have to show what we can do as a team," said the 29-year-old all-rounder who has played 13 ODIs.

Scotland travelled to Deventer last week where it played a four-day first-class ICC Intercontinental 2009-10 match against the Netherlands which was followed up an ODI. Scotland won the four-dayer by four wickets but lost the ODI by six wickets.

"Even though we'll not be playing at the same ground, I don't think the Netherlands will now be an alien place for some of our players as the tour will have given them some indication of the conditions they're likely to face in the ICC World Cricket League Division 1. It's always handy to have first-hand information and I think we have managed to collect some valuable data."

Drummond said Ireland and Afghanistan will start as tournament favourites. "While I think every team will have an equal chance to win the tournament, Ireland and Afghanistan will start off as favourites due to their recent results.

"Ireland is the benchmark for the Associate Member countries while Afghanistan has recently played some very exciting cricket. Both the sides played in the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies which should give them a lot of heart too," he said.

Drummond admitted his side was disappointed at missing out on the chance to play at the global events. "There's no doubt that we're disappointed at missing out on the ICC World Twenty20 2010 and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

"Every player wants to be part of global events of those magnitude and we're no different. The experience of playing in those events would have helped in our development. However, we now have to ensure that we qualify for the next global events by doing well in the qualifying events whenever and wherever they are staged," he said.

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