Carlton skipper Gordon Drummond has put his team on full alert as they prepare to face the rising star of Scottish cricket in Stoneywood Dyce colours at Grange Loan tomorrow.
Michael Leask was a member of the Scotland side over the winter which qualified for next year’s World Cup.
However, it was when the 23-year-old smashed 42 off 16 balls before being caught on the boundary while representing Scotland against England in Aberdeen last Friday that his abilities really caught the imagination.
Drummond has long known the potential of Leask and not just through being a colleague at the World Cup qualifying.
“Michael hit us for 80 odd off 50 balls at Grange Loan in the final day of last season when Stoneywood Dyce defeated us to remain in the Eastern Premiership,” said Drummond. “We’ve not had some-one like him on the scene for a little while, but it is a sign that the game is evolving when new players come through.”
The picturesque Carlton ground has a short boundary and Drummond acknowledged: “Restricting Michael is a challenge because he has this ability to clear the ropes with ease due to self belief allied to talent.
“Some of us have seen Michael on the way up and now he has broken through the barrier with his hard work and application.
“The great thing is he very passionate about cricket and a lot of the hard work put in has been done on his own.
“Michael’s not the biggest but he does have good hands and an ability to time the ball well.
“Who knows what might have happened had he not fallen to that overhead catch on the boundary against England?”
Compounding Carlton wariness is the fact that Scotland pair Ally Evans and Preston Mommsen are unavailable.
“We’ll be once again dipping into our second team but bringing through youngsters is partly what it is all about,” said Drummond whose team also face a trip to Greenock in the Scottish Cup on Sunday in what is a busy weekend.
SMRH are also in the Capital this weekend against Forfarshire and after seeing off Drumpellier in the Cup last Sunday will visit the winners of the Greenock-Carlton tie.
More than 40 wides contributed to SMRH’s latest success but with Drumpellier operating at a high level in the West it was still a notable scalp and one they hope to build on.
Seam bowler Chris Bissett faces a late fitness test due to a back injury and, with South African Kyle McCallum unavailable along with Andy Gamble, Greg Bissett and Vish Shah, there are opportunities for schoolboy medium pacer Ali Khan and all-rounder Adam McHoul.
One player who appears to have slipped through the SMRH net is Matt Angelini, the schoolboy wicket-keeper who is listed for a Mazars Grange league debut at leaders Falkland tomorrow. Also promoted from the 2nds is Ross Paterson.
For the trip to Aberdeenshire there’s a Watsonians debut for seamer Greg Jacobs while Gus Fraser-Harris is back along with Andrew Chalmers after breaking his collar bone in four places playing rugby for the trip Aberdeenshire.
Heriot’s are unchanged heading for champions Arbroath.
n Pete Steindl, who coaches Carlton and plays for RH Corstorphine, took on the role of umpire when the pair clashed in a Masterton Trophy tie at Grange Loan last night. Carlton won by seven wickets while Watsonians got their season up and running with victory at Penicuik in the same competition.