Scotland skipper backs City trio to shine on big stage

Preston Mommsen
Preston Mommsen
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Scotland cricket captain Preston Mommsen has backed the Capital-based players in the squad to shine as the ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers get underway this week.

Today the Scots were due to be taking on Namibia in their first warm-up at The Grange (10am) ahead of a fortnight of competitive action.

Carlton’s Mommsen, pictured, is joined by his club team-mate Ali Evans, Mazars Grange’s George Munsey and Heriot’s Mark Watt in the 15-man squad for the 20-over-a-side matches.

During the event 14 international sides will battle it out over 18 days between July 9 and 26.

In group B the Scots will play UAE at The Grange (July 9), the Netherlands (The Grange, July 11), Afghanistan (The Grange, July 12), Kenya (The Grange, July 14), and then Canada and Oman at Goldenacre (July 16 and 18).

And although Munsey, 22, and Watt, 18, are relatively new to international cricket, Mommsen is sure they and Evans will do well when called upon.

“The great thing that has happened since the World Cup earlier in the year is that more and more guys playing at club level have put their hands up and said ‘pick me’ at international level,” Mommsen said.

“The likes of George and Mark have been consistent performers for their clubs and now they are being rewarded with selection for this big event while Ali is very reliable.

“For all of the Scotland guys it will be great to play so many important matches on home soil, but for the guys that are from Edinburgh it will be extra special because they will be able to get their family and friends down to watch.

“It is great that matches are being played at a number of grounds and everyone is just buzzing to get started.

“I think we learnt a lot of lessons from the World Cup earlier in the year about raising our game for the big occasions and I think everyone in the squad is really focused and ready for everything that the opposition throw at us in the next couple of weeks.”

Mommsen’s men go into the tournament in high spirits having defeated co-hosts Ireland 2-0 in a friendly series last month.

The skipper, 27, is one of many all-rounders in the squad and that is so important in the short form of the game.

He explained: “The Twenty20 matches can change so quickly and you have to be able to change your batting line-up or bring on a new bowler as and when required. With both bat and ball I have great options at my disposal and I know that all of the guys can do a job when called upon. Our fielding has also improved greatly and we do not give away many cheap runs these days.”

For information on tickets, visit www.cricketscotland.com

Scotland squad: Preston Mommsen, Richie Berrington, Kyle Coetzer, Matt Cross, Josh Davey, Con de Lange, Ali Evans, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Rob Taylor, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt.