14/06/2013 Sport Nation


14/06/2013

David Currie investigates the curious case of cricket in Scotland, speaking to Scottish players and looking at what the future might hold for the international team.


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afternoon tea and Morris dancing. Not something we really do in

:00:19.:00:25.

Scotland. Or is it? Well, I have got into character to conduct this Sport

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Nation investigation into the curious Case of Scottish cricket. I

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want to find out who plays it, how good we are as a nation at it, and

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how good we could become. But first, let's discover a bit about the

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:00:51.:01:01.

with the army of King George II. Cricket was, at least in its

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origins, and imperialist game. the 1745 rebellion, the Hanoverian

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government decided to keep English soldiers in Scotland for years and

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years and decades and decades. Naturally, they brought their game

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of cricket with them. And it is no accident that in the garrison towns

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of Edinburgh, Stirling, Aberdeen and Perth, cricket was very, very strong

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for the next 150, possibly 200 years. This is all because the

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English soldiers were there, playing the game of cricket. And, of course,

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they would, eventually, through time, get a Scottish population

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interested in the game. What helped cricket a great deal was in the

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1880s and 1890s when employers started to make Saturday afternoon a

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holiday. So you went to a football match in the winter and a cricket

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match in the summer. This is the West of Scotland cricket ground in

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glass go, one of the most historic venues in Scottish sport. Here, in

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1872, Scotland played England in the first international match, not in

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cricket but in football. The two sports have existed together ever

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since. But why did football go on to become a national obsession, and not

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cricket? In the 1880s and the 1890s, Scotland were able to beat England

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at full or more often than they lost. And I think that was a

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tremendous boost to the game. -- at foot tall. Some Scots have played

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:02:54.:02:54.

for England. After Australia gave England a real doing in 1930, he

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decided to adopt this body-line policy. Body-line means basically

:03:00.:03:06.

that you bowl the ball in the line of the batsman's body. They mixed

:03:06.:03:09.

the orthodox bowling attack with body-line, fast, short pitched balls

:03:09.:03:14.

aimed at the batsman's chest. Larwood was superb and England took

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the series 4-1. If the batsman had to do this several times, you would

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:03:30.:03:31.

get out of the way of the next one. There was the first ever Scottish

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born player to become captain of England, and his famous tour of

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Australia was 1974-75, where he and his batsmen were very much on the

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other end of a piece of body-line bowling from Jeff Thompson and

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Dennis Lily. Of course, he could not cope with the fast bowling. He had

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an awful tour. Part of it was the desire for revenge for body-line

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which was 42 years previously. I think he scored a couple of

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centuries for England. He was never a great that's man, but he was a

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good enough captain. Varies the winning captain. The margin is 43

:04:17.:04:27.
:04:27.:04:28.

runs. Mention must be made of the Village cup in 1985 at Lord's.

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has only to see out the last four balls without scoring, but when he

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appears to get one, it is too much for both that's men and crowd.

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:04:48.:04:48.

think that will be remembered for ever. Celebrations in 1985. But

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there was an even bigger Scottish invasion in 19 99, when the national

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team qualified for the World Cup in England. They did not win a match

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but it was a worthwhile experience. One that stood out was the first

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game against Australia. Sold out at Worcester. Full of the Tartan Army.

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We took a huge following on that day. The Australian team were full

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of stars. Shane warned, Glenn McGrath, and as you know, they went

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on to win the tournament. But the first game was magical. We batted

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first, which was a gutsy decision, to bat against an attack like that.

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I think we got 170-180, maybe a bit less. We bowled OK. We had them

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25-3. We were on the edge but they were too strong in the end. It was a

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great atmosphere inside the ground and it was a joy to be part of it.

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Lovely shot. That will give him a bit of confidence. A different

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experience for various reasons. Just a great location. We did not carry

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huge travelling support but we still had some partisan crowds. But the

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atmosphere, with the Caribbean experience, was fantastic. The

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matches were on experience but living the dream up buying the World

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Cup is fantastic. The facilities on offer and the exposure is great for

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the players. -- living the dream of Although you have to admit it was

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interesting. I want to find out who plays cricket in Scotland in the

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:06:57.:06:57.

here and now. There are about 180 clubs in Scotland and about 10,000

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permitting, the lads of Stoneywood and Aberdeenshire will be gearing up

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for a match. One of the reasons I have come to the north-east is

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because I have heard it is a hot bed of cricketing talent, and cricket is

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very popular here. There is a story going around that the Aberdeen area

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has more cricketers per head of population than anywhere other than

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Yorkshire and Barbados. We like to believe that. We do reasonably well

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in terms of the local league. There are 36 clubs in the local league.

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Our third 11 plays in the second tier of that. It is a mixture of

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veterans and youngsters. I am with a stony look -- Stoneywood player,

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former coach and former Scotland international. How strong is cricket

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in this part of the world? It is definitely a strong area for

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cricket. Obviously you have Stoneywood dice and Aberdeenshire in

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the National League but you also have 36 great teams playing local

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:08:26.:08:26.

cricket. Every village, all of these little villagers have their own

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teams which are playing local cricket. What is the historical

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background? Why is it so strong in this area? Much of the research is

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that it is the English influx. I do not know if it is because of the oil

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back in the day, but everything that macro Aberdeen has been strong for

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the oil, which brought a lot of ink -- English employees. This might be

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a family club but it is renowned for producing Scotland international

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players. We are proud of what we have done. It comes through hard

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work. The focus is on coaching. We want to do well, we want to enjoy

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the sport, but we are very keen to develop the youngsters. Do not take

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this the wrong way, but this does not strike me as the richest of

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cricket clubs, but you manage on a shoestring to produce this talent.

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We certainly manage on a shoestring. There is lots of volunteer labour.

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You have seen people repairing fences. There were people cutting

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the outfield this morning. grassroots, you are typical of the

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backbone of volunteers keeping cricket at club level together in

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Scotland. I am sure some of the bigger clubs have bigger workforces

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than we have got. Maybe I am wrong. When you see the success we have had

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and how we have done things, maybe the family model is something that

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others could look at. I am told this is called the Goudie stand. In

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honour of Mr Goudie in the middle. What is your involvement? My son

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used to play cricket here. He plays for Scotland. He grew up here as a

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young kid and played through the juniors. The club promotes the

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junior scene for the cricket. It is a good development area for up and

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coming stars. People get involved with their families and the

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youngsters get involved. There are the mothers of the current Scotland

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know that cricket clubs are renowned for their tea. I am going to chat

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for the -- to the ladies responsible. We have two camera shy

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ladies, I am sure. What is on the menu? Sausage roll, pizza, fancy

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cakes, fruit. T, Coffey. Is it very competitive, the world of cricketing

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tea? We are renowned for our tea up and down Scotland. We have a good

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name for our tea. Probably quite competitive. I am in the press

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:11:47.:11:47.

locks. It is actually an oversized -- oversized bobbin. And this is the

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press. Do you come here often? I operate between Stoneywood and

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Mannofield, the major teams in the area. There is a huge commitment to

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cricket in the area. They take it very seriously, very competitive. It

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has been played here for over 150 years, and a lot of youngsters have

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come through. Last weekend, four players were in the Scottish squad

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from this area. Why is cricket so popular in the north-east? Good

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question. The weather does not lend itself. It is not always warm and

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pleasant. But there is a big commitment to cricket. What have I

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learned from my visit? Firstly, the weather was not bad. Second, the

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:12:49.:12:58.

cricket was good. Third, the tea is wicket taker, magic hack. He is club

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captain of Clydesdale on the clubs in Scotland. How did you get

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into cricket? Through one of my uncles. Cricket was always in your

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life. Definitely. Back in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, shall anchor,

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cricket is the number one sport in those countries. It is one of the

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top two sports here, along with foot all. There is a great ethnic mix.

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There are a lot of Asian Scots here as well. Is this typical? We are in

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:13:59.:14:00.

the heart of the Asian community. It is a great culture, a mix of young

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Pakistanis, white Scots boys. It is very good. It seems a great place

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for different communities to meet in a sporting context, something you do

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not see is much in other sports but you see in cricket. You see a lot of

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talented Asian boys playing foot ball, and I'm surprised they have

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not gone on because the talent is there. Is it because they are drawn

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to cricket? Parents for my generation, most of the guys in

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their 20s, they wanted them to get an education and do not see sport as

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a way to make a career, which is unfortunate. Hopefully it could

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change the thinking of Asian parents and that will make a big difference.

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Across Glasgow, West of Scotland are trying to produce the next

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generation of Scotland internationals.

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The secret is exposure, these guys are as talented as anything I can

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see. I have spent time coaching Yorkshire Cricket club and they get

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more exposure to cricket at schools and so on. For me, you have two have

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the skills. Years gone by, there was the discussion about what produced a

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sportsman, I believe it is doing the skill. And these guys have to

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practice cricket as much as possible.

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In the last year, with funding from the governing body, 50,000

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schoolchildren have sampled the sports.

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-- sport. Cricket Scotland have a good structure and it is going

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through to senior level but it has to lie with the individual. Part of

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my role is to stimulate that my role is to stimulate that

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interest, to do My parents always said, they always

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put a big emphasis on my education and said that would come first. But

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if you want to push through, there has to be a balance. You have to

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work hard at both. 17-year-old Andrew has followed the

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pathway system and is close to getting an international call-up.

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Scotland is like the second team of the Scotland team. They try and

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bring in younger players and older players trying to get back in the

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Scotland team, it is a bridge so there is not so much of a gap.

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Andy has got everything to go the full weight. The key with Andy is

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learning the finer details of the game. -- the four way. That is often

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the step between a level cricket and the former national team, the finer

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details, and he will learn that by exposure to higher level cricket.

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Like any sport, the more you put in, the more you get out, and that is

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the biggest thing. I am going down to Warwickshire in a couple of weeks

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to play for them, trial matches, so to play for them, trial matches, so

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we will see how that goes. Is that a big Russia situation? You could say

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it is a big Russia situation but it is also a big opportunity.

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What you hope to achieve in the sport ultimately? Ultimately to play

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at international level. My dad always says, a little skill and big

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belief go further than big skill and no believe.

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Clubs are spending thousands of pounds on hired assassins and

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getting nothing back. Luckily, it -- luckily, they took me on here and I

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changed that Ultra. It is about me not delivering as a role model but

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also giving back to the club and putting it structure in place to

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allow youngsters to come through. The worst thing at clubs is where

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kids are not getting an opportunity.

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One of England 's best all-rounders captained the side in the 1970s. He

:18:04.:18:07.

was born in South Africa and only qualify to play for England through

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his Scottish father. As is the case in other sports, some

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of our best young cricketers had south to try their luck in England.

:18:17.:18:27.
:18:27.:18:28.

But is that a good thing or a bad Here we are at Northants County

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Cricket Club, right in the heart of England. I have come here to meet

:18:33.:18:43.
:18:43.:18:47.

How different does he think things are here to back home?

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I think it is the day in and day out of it. You are constantly around it,

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you have always got the availability of training. You always have the

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availability of training. Right next to the indoor centre, and on days

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like this, you can top up your skills and improve yourself as much

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as possible. There are two divisions in England. We are in the second

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division. We are on top at the moment.

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He says the training facilities at English county level helping him

:19:25.:19:35.
:19:35.:19:36.

become a better player. -- of helping him. -- are.

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I have had few problems -- a few problems in the past with certain

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parts of my legs so I am making sure they are strong.

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So you will not hear to bulk up? No, you cannot we rebook yourself up

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because the movement is so unnatural that you struggle -- bulk. To get

:19:59.:20:03.

your arm over. We have a sports psychologist and we can get in

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touch. A few people do regular work to make sure they are thinking as

:20:09.:20:17.

positively as they can. There is that much pressure, so only you can

:20:17.:20:23.

perform on the day. If you face one good delivery and all of a sudden,

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you are back in the dressing room, there is not much you can do. You

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have to wait until the next game, and if the same happens again, it

:20:30.:20:34.

builds up. Is it a different pressure playing

:20:34.:20:39.

for Scotland? Not necessarily, you are always

:20:39.:20:45.

trying to perform. There is not one day that you do not go out and try

:20:45.:20:55.
:20:55.:21:00.

and score forums. That is what I try Scotland captain, so how is he

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taking to it? Things run through my head and I

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have just started doing it for Scotland. If you sleepless nights

:21:08.:21:12.

thinking, different scenarios in your head, inquisitions, different

:21:12.:21:22.
:21:22.:21:26.

players, how they are playing and you on. I quite like the challenge.

:21:26.:21:33.

Welcome to the dressing room. smelt worst ones in my time! Give us

:21:33.:21:37.

a look around. You are lucky, they have just tidied

:21:37.:21:45.

This is fairly compact for a cricket team, all this year. Are you sitting

:21:45.:21:50.

here how we focused on a match day on the -- on the wicket?

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Sometimes, it depends. Some people read before they go on. Other people

:21:56.:22:05.
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like myself, I like to watch what is You are prepared. You have done all

:22:17.:22:22.

the preparation. When you are out there, it you have got to back up

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your ability and the skills you have got in training.

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That rain is getting heavier, so we had better go in doors now.

:22:31.:22:37.

Thank you for coming. Thank you for having thus. -- having

:22:37.:22:47.
:22:47.:22:57.

level in England, but what about international level? You can often

:22:57.:23:02.

gauge the strength of a sport in a country by how its national team

:23:02.:23:12.
:23:12.:23:24.

Here they are, preparing to face Pakistan and hoping for their first

:23:24.:23:29.

win over a team in the top tier of world cricket.

:23:29.:23:33.

We are currently 14th in the world. We would like to be higher and over

:23:33.:23:38.

the last three or four years, the results have been mixed. We play in

:23:38.:23:41.

the second team with the likes of Ireland, can you, Holland and

:23:42.:23:48.

Afghanistan, so it is very competitive. -- Kenya. If we could

:23:48.:23:52.

turn over a like Pakistan or Australia, our rankings would go up

:23:52.:23:55.

considerably. I really want Scotland to do well,

:23:55.:24:03.

although my love is for Pakistan's. How big a shock would it be if

:24:03.:24:08.

Scotland beat the mighty Pakistan? About as big a shock as Scotland

:24:08.:24:18.
:24:18.:24:30.

winning the World Cup in football! off now!

:24:31.:24:35.

And will come back and see you when Scotland have won!

:24:35.:24:40.

That I will come back. That will be a long time!

:24:40.:24:44.

I am still waiting, Pakistan won this by 96 runs.

:24:44.:24:49.

You have broken the record for the most wickets taken in one-day

:24:49.:24:52.

internationals for Scotland but you are not happy.

:24:52.:24:55.

Personal milestones are good when you retire, but at the moment, we

:24:55.:25:00.

have lost a game. We had a great opportunity to win. Very

:25:00.:25:04.

disappointed with the second-half. You took three wickets and you

:25:04.:25:10.

bowled well, according to even Pakistan team, you must have bought,

:25:10.:25:16.

this is achievable and we can beat Pakistan. -- you must have thought.

:25:16.:25:21.

Definitely, it was a below par score by the Pakistan team and we were

:25:21.:25:26.

confident at the halfway stage we could be the first Scottish team to

:25:26.:25:30.

win the one-day international. How far Scotland away from achieving

:25:30.:25:33.

that? Very small margins at the highest

:25:33.:25:38.

level. We just need to have that belief a little bit more and get

:25:38.:25:41.

more experience of playing the big guys and handling the pressure

:25:41.:25:45.

situations well, I think that is probably what we are lacking at the

:25:46.:25:50.

moment. It is a bit of exposure for the

:25:50.:25:55.

lads, Pakistan play a lot of cricket in different conditions. And they

:25:55.:25:59.

get that can still learn a lot faster. Hopefully, our guys, playing

:25:59.:26:08.

against these, will take a lot from it. There is obviously a little gap

:26:08.:26:12.

in the sense of experience, but the guys are capable of anything in this

:26:12.:26:14.

team and we can go a long way with this squad.

:26:14.:26:22.

One Scotland post might ambitions is to one day beat a test side in a

:26:22.:26:28.

one-day international. -- want of Scotland post Mike ambitions.

:26:28.:26:33.

How far away are they? They are working hard but you never know when

:26:33.:26:37.

you will get this kind of victory. Knowing these conditions and less

:26:37.:26:42.

cricket, that is the main thing, they need to play more cricket to

:26:42.:26:50.

just eat the test sides. -- to just beat. They are missing that.

:26:50.:26:57.

Of eight improving? They played well today but they will improve with

:26:57.:27:03.

experience. -- they improving. The next World Cup is 2015 and we

:27:03.:27:07.

are in the middle of a qualification process, third in eighth, and if you

:27:07.:27:11.

finish in the top two, you get automatic qualification and if you

:27:11.:27:17.

do not, you go up against New Zealand. We are confident we will

:27:17.:27:20.

qualify in initially or through the qualifying competition, but it is

:27:20.:27:25.

vital to be their biggest we missed the last one in 2011.

:27:25.:27:28.

-- it is vital to be there because we missed.

:27:29.:27:34.

How well the top team do controls how much money we get for the ICC

:27:34.:27:40.

and by not qualifying for the World Cup, we probably messed about $1

:27:40.:27:43.

million over four years, so it is crucial to qualify for these events

:27:43.:27:48.

-- wee problem -- we probably messed.

:27:48.:27:51.

Is World Cup qualification 2015... I know you will say, yes, we can do

:27:51.:27:59.

We have two big games and if we win those four, we will qualify for the

:27:59.:28:04.

World Cup. If not, we have another qualification tournament next year

:28:04.:28:10.

against New Zealand so it is in our own hands. If we win the four games,

:28:10.:28:14.

we should qualify and we will find out in September. The national team

:28:14.:28:20.

needs to do a bit better, so hopefully, we can. It is a huge year

:28:20.:28:28.

for Scottish cricket. So what have -- so what have I

:28:28.:28:31.

learned about Scottish cricket? For one thing, the sport has a one

:28:32.:28:37.

history in this country. Also, more and more young people are having the

:28:37.:28:41.

Cricket in Scotland has a long and varied history. David Currie investigates the curious case of Scottish cricket and looks at what the future might hold for the nation's international side. On his journey he speaks to Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer, holder of the Scottish bowling record Majid Haq and former Scotland international John Blain.


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