‘Plan Budge’ comes together as Grange batsman prepares for England

Dylan Budge targeted a Scotland call-up when he joined Grange
Dylan Budge targeted a Scotland call-up when he joined Grange
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Mazars Grange batsman Dylan Budge admits it would be a dream come true to make a Scotland One Day International debut in Sunday’s showpiece cricket clash with England on his home ground.

Budge really left head coach Grant Bradburn no other option but to pick him ahead of the 50-over-a-side match after scoring an amazing 603 runs in nine days at the end of May and the start of this month.

The 22-year-old was named in a 15-man squad on Monday to take on the best side in the world in the ODI format at the Grange on Portgower Place. Budge’s superb run of form began on Saturday, May 26 when he hit 100 for Grange against Carlton in the CSL Eastern Premier Division.

An even bigger score, 143, followed two days later for the Eastern Knights before scores of 56, 52 and 65 for Scotland ‘A’ in Lancashire last midweek.

At the weekend just gone, he then hit 48 not out and 139 over two days for Grange to make him the in-form player in the country.

“It has been a brilliant spell for me, I just took confidence from the first century and went from there,” he stated.

“There are a lot of players in form at the minute so I knew I needed to score heavily to get into this Scotland squad.

“I have really enjoyed my time in the middle of late and I think it is testament to the standards that we have been setting at Grange, with the Knights and with Scotland ‘A’ that I have been able to do what I have done.”

Having grown up in Bradford, Budge has been involved with counties like Yorkshire and Durham in the past and has been on Scotland’s radar since 2015.

After missing most of the 2016 season with Durham due to a hip operation, Budge decided to relocate to the Capital in early 2017.

He began playing for Grange because he knew club player/coach John Blain from his time with Yorkshire and he has loved life with the Stockbridge outfit.

With his father having been born in Edinburgh, Budge played two non-cap internationals for Scotland against Sri Lanka last May.

A few more injury issues and a period of time while the ICC verified his eligibility followed, but he has been cleared to play and is ready to go if required.

“I moved up to Scotland early last year with the aim of playing for the country,” he stated.

“I have been in and around the extended squad for a while, but to now be working towards taking on England is quite surreal, but very exciting.

“I must pay tribute to my team mates at Grange and with the Eastern Knights because I have loved playing alongside them and when you play the game with a smile on your face you tend to do better as a result.

“With Grange we have a great blend of experienced players and the young ones coming through so there are always people to learn from or others to help along the way. We have had a good start to the summer and, although last week was busy, I just want to play as much cricket as I can. The Scotland guys were very disappointed with the way the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe ended up back in March, but training has been great in recent weeks and everyone is buzzing.

“To have the chance to take on England and then Pakistan twice [T20 clashes at the Grange on Tuesday and Wednesday] in the same week does not come around often and we want to make the most of it.”