Scotland boss Grant Bradburn keen to share his knowledge

Grant Bradburn wants Test cricket to become Scotland's goal. Picture: Ian rutherford
Grant Bradburn wants Test cricket to become Scotland's goal. Picture: Ian rutherford
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In the last of his seven Test matches back in 2001 spinner Grant Bradburn was not required to bat or bowl as New Zealand’s pace attack routed Pakistan by an innings and 185 runs.

This time round, allowing for his incarnation from spin bowler to Scotland cricket coach, the 47-year-old Kiwi expects to be much more heavily involved than during those four days in Hamilton where at least he managed a couple of catches.

Just 24 hours after excusing himself from the family sports goods business and flying in as successor to Peter Steindl, the affable Bradburn was setting out a stall of a different kind in Edinburgh.

And while extremely careful not to become a hostage to fortune – “winning for me is not just on the scoreboard (but) an everyday attitude,” he tactfully remarked – it was clear Bradburn’s emphasis and influence would stretch well beyond leading Scotland to next winter’s World Cup down under.

Referring to the qualification process partly under the charge of Craig Wright, who will continue to hold the reins against England at Aberdeen in Friday’s one-dayer while the new man settles in, Bradburn said: “I’ll be looking to build on recent success but also looking to provide long term success.

“And I’ll want more Scottish players on the world stage.”

Making it clear he has an open mind about all candidates at this stage, Bradburn added: “I have done a little bit of homework on the squad but one of the exciting things is I am walking into an environment where I don’t know the players or the staff that well.

“I’m looking forward to bringing the experiences I’ve had and built as a coach – I’ve obviously been in environments that have been successful – but the beauty is coming and adapting and assessing and applying what is required here, which may be subtly different to Auckland or New Zealand A.

“From a coaching point of view, there are no shortcuts.

“I bring a lot of philosophies that have been in place here but also experience of knowing what world class performance looks like.

“I want to keep building internal competition for places.”

That will embrace, he said, longer form cricket as well as one-day matches and twenty:20, which he regards as a real showcase.

“T-20 is a huge opportunity for all countries worldwide. It’s here to stay and a hugely valuable commodity. From a playing perspective, it is a format we need to play well.

“(But) T-20 and one day are becoming distinctly separate in terms of skill which leads to developing a wider base of players and spin bowling is a (particular) area where I have knowledge I am keen to share and keep developing.”

Bradburn, who showed remarkable resolve by returning to Test cricket in 2001 after a nine year absence, arrives as the ICC have just decreed that victory in the Inter-Continental Cup, which Scotland last won in 2004, will mean entering into a play-off in 2018 to try to claim the lowest ranked Test side’s status.

“I want to be competitive in all formats and maybe one day fulfil the dream of Test status,” he said. “Test cricket at the moment is realistically a dream. But although I would like it to be a goal, I won’t do that until I get my feet on the ground.

“The difference between the 10th ranked team and the 13th (Scotland’s position) is huge. But it’s a fantastic dream.”

While keen not to induce false hopes, Bradburn did show himself capable of setting high targets.

Asked about his the World Cup when Scotland are in a section alongside England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia, Afghanistan and New Zealand, he said: “I have already met with Andy Tenant (head of performance) and Craig Wright (head of elite development), and the National Performance Centre at Stirling, where Scottish Cricket is likely to be moving to, has a fantastic feel.

What about his ambition for the tournament?

“I’ll be very familiar with conditions we will be playing in and will have a little bit of inside knowledge.

“Getting the team to perform with distinction on the world stage is hugely important.”

Bradburn also said with a smile: “Obviously, I’d like to win it.”

For the record, the remark was made tongue-in-cheek.

But with a similar goal being set for the rugby squad next year, even if that was in a manner more reminiscent of Ally MacLeod, it would be an interesting double.

And one the bookmakers might be happy to accommodate?