Why Scottish cricket needs a base and should 'start thinking bigger' as T20 World Cup hosts

Scotland men’s cricket captain Kyle Coetzer believes putting in place a multi-purpose base for the sport north of the border is vital going forward, stating “we need to start thinking bigger”.

By Gary Heatly
Wednesday, 17th November 2021, 10:00 pm
Scotland's captain Kyle Coetzer reacts after playing a shot during the ICC mens Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Scotland. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
Scotland's captain Kyle Coetzer reacts after playing a shot during the ICC mens Twenty20 World Cup cricket match between Pakistan and Scotland. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

If the national team are to close the gap on the world’s best and build on reaching the T20 World Cup Super 12s phase recently then Coetzer feels that a facility where the best players can train indoors and outdoors and where Cricket Scotland’s off field staff can be based is key.

During the first stage of the T20 World Cup the Scots played at the state-of-the-art Al Amerat Cricket Stadium just outside of Muscat in Oman and it has everything under one roof for that country’s top cricketers and administrators.

Of course, these kinds of facilities do not come cheap and outside investment would be needed to make the dream a reality in this country.

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Kyle Coetzer of Scotland gives instructions to his side. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Currently Scotland’s top male players usually train in Edinburgh indoors at the National Cricket Academy based at The Mary Erskine School, train outdoors at George Heriot’s School’s Goldenacre ground and play games at The Grange on Portgower Place.

The best female players use these facilities at times too, but also use others depending on availability.

And Coetzer is adamant that now is the time to start thinking big in the lead up to that.

“This week’s news is pretty special in terms of thinking ahead and planning for the future,” the 37-year-old said.

“It’s organisation-changing really, it’s something we need to help push us on

“What about finding a home venue or building a home venue for this cricket team and organisation to start basing ourselves out of?

“I think we could possibly be the only team in the [world’s] top 20 who doesn’t have their own home venue.

“That’s where we need to go if I’m being honest. Let’s put things into perspective: we’ve just been playing against the world’s best and, no disrespect to where we’ve used, but we’re training on a school second team field which is uncovered.

“The school do a fantastic job for us, but it’s time to start thinking bigger and to think forward about how we can move things on to the next level.

“If we’re turning up to play against India in one of these world events, we want to be preparing as best as we possibly can.

“We can’t be leaving a school’s second team ground to go and play against the world’s best. The gap is just too great for us to improve.

“We need to be practising with more support around us, that means all staff, whether that be off field or on the field. We need to have better pitches; the better the pitches are, the more it encourages bowlers and batters to be better.

“If we want to compete against the best we need to have some of this.

“There’s no point being scared now. We’ve got this opportunity and we need to make the most of it.

“We probably need some support from wherever that can come from in Scotland.

“To close that gap further we need to find ways to improve the whole organisation.”

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