Cricket: Move could fire Flannigan to top of Scots batting order

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Grange cricket captain Neil McCallum has backed new signing Ryan Flannigan to use a change of surroundings as a catalyst for establishing himself at the top of Scotland’s batting order this summer.

Flannigan made a move across the Capital from Watsonians along with club-mate Raj Routray, and McCallum, who took the same journey some years earlier, said that could be a launchpad to becoming established in the Scottish team.

“Ryan has heaps of potential,” said McCallum, whose side will be hoping to open their season at the second attempt following a rain-off when they visit Uddingston in the Scottish Cup tomorrow.

He added: “Over the winter Ryan scored his first 100 for Scotland and I expect there are many more runs to come from someone who can be one of the country’s leading four batsmen.”

Flannigan, 23, will also be to looking develop his bowling at Raeburn Place alongside Routray, while McCallum is keen to introduce new spinner Arun Pillai to the attack.

Replacing Flannigan at Watsonians, who head for Dumfries, is Saltires’ overseas signing Jean Symes, due to arrive from South Africa today.

Also, Scots-qualified seam bowler Sean Wilkie has arrived from New Zealand, although he has represented Strathmore.

“At the moment we are better off for bowlers then batters,” said new skipper Stuart Chalmers, aware that Symes’ left arm spin will add variety.

Of the Capital contingent, only SMRH are at home tomorrow, against Arbroath.

Although beaten by five wickets on the opening weekend when visiting Clydesdale, new skipper Mark Burgess took encouragement from having the Glasgow side struggling at 68-5 before eventually posting a 131 total that was 11 too many for SMRH.

Burgess said: “With Cedric English joining from Carlton (as player/coach) training is now very focused.

“We have also been joined by young leg spinner Haris Aslam from Carlton and he will figure heavily.”

Heriot’s got off to a winning start at home to Ferguslie but skipper Steve Knox has been obliged to change the line-up for a trip to Stirling County who easily overcame a weakened Edinburgh Accies.

Andre van Niekerk has a back injury while Kevin McLaren is unavailable.

Stepping up are Craig Adams, Jed Case and Colin Thomson.

Carlton show one change for a trip to Greenock with Omar Ahmed back in the squad.

RH Corstorphine visit East Kilbride and Edinburgh Accies head for Ferguslie with Tom Tredinnick, Dan Pyzer-Knapp and David Woods all debuting but overseas amateur Kyle Blanchard is not eligible until Sunday.