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Coetzer relishing England clash

Scotland will be looking to put their World Cup heartbreak behind them.

Kyle Coetzer will lead his side against England in the first meeting between the sides for three years (Robert Perry/PA)
Kyle Coetzer will lead his side against England in the first meeting between the sides for three years (Robert Perry/PA)

Sunday’s showpiece one-day international at the Grange will be a rare opportunity for Scotland’s players to test themselves against the world’s best.

The one-off 50-over match sees England arrive north of the border for the first time in four years, and comes after Scotland were cruelly denied a place at next year’s World Cup.

The tournament has seen the number of participating teams controversially cut from 14 to 10, and if that was not bad enough the Saltires were then denied qualification in the cruellest of circumstances as weather and questionable umpiring saw them fall short of beating the West Indies in March.

Captain Kyle Coetzer has been outspoken in his disappointment at the decision to cut down on participating nations – which makes it harder for associate teams such as Scotland to qualify – but he is relishing the chance for his players to prove they can compete regularly against sides such as England.

“We’re extremely proud of how the guys represented themselves in Zimbabwe,” he said. “Obviously we fell at the last hurdle but the way we showed how we played our cricket and the style of cricket we played was seen throughout.

“An occasion like Sunday is always going to be a special occasion and we have to put on a good show.

“Sunday has something on the line – there’s rankings and there’s a lot of pride on the line but in terms of direct funding and our direct place in a World Cup, that’s not necessarily there so it is all about the cricket, which is great.

“We’ve got two fantastic sides going to turn out, it’s very exciting to have the number one ranked ODI side in our back yard at the Grange in Edinburgh so there’s no bigger occasion for us.

Kyle Coetzer faces the media in Edinburgh(Robert Perry/PA)

“Especially coming off the back of a tough end to the tour to Zimbabwe, it’s better to get back on the horse and playing against the number one side will make it a pretty special day.”

Scotland have yet to beat England in the four ODIs between the two sides, and have been drawing inspiration from former rugby union international Duncan Hodge, who scored all of the points for Scotland in a 19-13 Calcutta Cup match in 2000.

Coetzer said: “We’re fortunate enough to have Duncan Hodge with us for a few days and his big thing is that when you go out to play a game of cricket, you’ve got to look to win every game.

“That’s the case with us and while we’ve got to be realistic too, (we are) making sure we go out there with every intention of winning the game.

Duncan Hodge, right, inspired Scotland’s Six Nations win over England in 2000 (Ben Curtis/PA)

“Our head coach Grant Bradburn has been in touch with Duncan since he arrived in Scotland and he’s gone into their environment and tried to find out how different sports can work together.

“With Duncan having beaten England single-handedly when he scored 19 points, it is a very powerful message to come across.

“He is a great person to have around.”

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph