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    Scotland is set to defend their title in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 in the UAE
Scotland is set to defend their title in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 in the UAE
By bbc.com

Scotland is set to defend their title in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 in the UAE

Scotland has not played since July 2023 and has been without a permanent head coach for a year.

What will be the defending champions' condition when their ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 campaign begins on Friday?

The squad for the 50-over competition is led by the vastly experienced Richie Berrington and is familiar.

These players almost secured a surprise place at the 50-over World Cup last summer and breezed into the T20 equivalent, which is coming up in June.

Scott Currie, 22, from Hampshire, has received his first call-up to the team. Additionally, Sussex wicketkeeper Charlie Tear, 19, is a new addition.

Hampshire bowler Brad Wheal is also returning to the team after his last one-day international match in 2019. Unfortunately, Chris Sole, who performed impressively in the World Cup qualifier, is still absent due to injury.

Brad Currie made his debut at the European T20 qualifier, taking 12 wickets in a successful week in Edinburgh. It will be interesting to see how he progresses in an attack that includes Safyaan Sharif, the only Scot to reach 100 ODI wickets, and the experienced Mark Watt.

McMullen has an ODI average of 49 from 13 innings.

At 36 years old, Berrington is only 72 runs away from reaching 3,000 ODI runs, in addition to his 2,000 T20 runs.

The skipper and McMullen ended the summer with a 104 partnership in a T20 victory over Ireland.

They are expected to carry much of the batting load but are also able to get support from Matt Cross and the big-hitting duo of George Munsey and Michael Leask, who are next on the 'still active' list of all-time scorers.

League provides a pathway to the 2027 World Cup

Scotland will play their opening match against Canada in the United Arab Emirates on Friday at 06:00 GMT. Each team will play against their opponents twice.

Canada caused an upset by defeating the hosts in Dubai on Wednesday by three wickets. This was their ninth match since Scotland's last competitive game. In contrast, the UAE has played 22 games, including three T20s against New Zealand and Afghanistan.

The tournament will span almost three years and will also feature the Netherlands, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, and the United States.

Scotland is set to host games in May of this year and next, as well as in August 2026.

The top four nations will progress directly to a 10-team qualifier event for the 2027 World Cup, with four places in South Africa and Zimbabwe up for grabs.

Scotland will also play three T20s against the hosts during their time in the UAE, with James Dickinson, Oli Hairs, and Gavin Main replacing Wheal, Scott Currie, and Hamza Tahir in the squad for the shorter format.

Interim head coach Stevie Gilmour will oversee everything, with assistance from Moneeb Iqbal and Andy McKay.

The three individuals all previously worked with caretaker Doug Watson, therefore significant alterations are unlikely.

Although the search for a successor to Shane Burger is taking longer than expected, the team has been performing well.

this issue must be resolved with just one round of World Cup League 2 fixtures remaining before the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean.

Scotland squad:
Richie Berrington (capt), Matthew Cross, Brad Currie, Scott Currie, Chris Greaves, Jack Jarvis, Michael Leask, Brandon McMullen, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Hamza Tahir, Charlie Tear, Andrew Umeed, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal.

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