Scotland name squad for Zim Qualifiers

HARARE - Scotland have announced their squad for the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is scheduled to host the qualifiers in March after the ICC agreed to reduce the number of participating teams at the 2019 Cricket World Cup from 14 to 10.

A new World Cup qualification format was introduced in which the host nation England and the top seven teams on the ICC ODI Championship as of September 30, 2017 would directly qualify for the tournament.

The other two remaining slots would be then up for grabs at a qualifying tournament featuring the least ranked sides — the West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan — and those from the World Cricket League Championship.

Scotland have selected Kyle Coetzer as captain to lead the side against Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Zimbabwe, plus the final qualifier to be confirmed following World Cricket League Division 2 in February in Group B.

Michael Jones and Tom Sole have both been selected after their maiden international tour to the UAE in January.

Brad Wheal and Chris Sole will add pace to the attack and will be accompanied by Safyaan Sharif, Stuart Whittingham and Alasdair Evans who will form a five-prong pace attack.

Richie Berrington, who has been named as vice-captain, Matthew Cross and Calum MacLeod are expected to play an important role with the bat and provide valuable experience in the field.

Coetzer said: “We are all looking forward to the challenges ahead. The squad has been preparing efficiently, taking into consideration the conditions and the opposition we will face.

“We hope to be in a position by the end of the tournament to not only qualify for the World Cup but also defend our title from the previous qualifying campaign. We have the depth within our squad to make this a reality and we will be raring to go when the opening game comes around.”

Scotland’s head coach Grant Bradburn said: “We welcome the new faces into the squad who have adapted very quickly and shown their fantastic international qualities on the recent tour to Dubai. While the side will miss several experienced players of recent times, it contains a strong heart of quality proven players who are relishing the opportunity to step forward and dominate for Scotland.”

The Super Six phase begins on March 15, in Harare with the final of the competition set for March 25.

Scotland squad: Kyle Coetzer (c), Richie Berrington (vc), Matthew Cross, Alasdair Evans, Michael Jones, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Chris Sole, Tom Sole, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal, Stuart Whittingham.

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