Buoyed with confidence after a 2021 to remember, Scotland are set to stake their claim for a place at Birmingham 2022, as the Women’s T20 Cricket Commonwealth Games Qualifier begins tomorrow (18 Jan) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
With women’s cricket making its Commonwealth Games debut, this tournament will decide the eighth and final team to play at Birmingham this summer with the winner joining Australia, Barbados, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.
Scotland will face tough opposition this week from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Kenya and Bangladesh for the one remaining place, but come into the tournament full of confidence gained from an emphatic win at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier in La Manga four months ago.
“We’ve taken a lot of confidence and belief from [La Manga] in knowing that we can do it,” said team captain Kathryn Bryce. “It shows how we’ve developed over the last couple of years and just how far we’ve come. Even from the couple of tournaments we played last year, we’re bringing a lot of confidence into this even though we know it’s going to be a pretty big challenge.
“The fact that it’s a Commonwealth Games, with all that represents, makes being involved in it a really exciting prospect,” said captain Kathryn Bryce. “I was in Glasgow [in 2014], and the way in which it brought everyone together from so many different sports was amazing. Even the qualifying side of it, a completely different tournament to the usual ones we play, is very exciting for us to be a part of.”
Having arrived in Malaysia at the start of January and completed a seven day quarantine, the team have been back in training ahead of their opening game against Sri Lanka on Tuesday and will look to build on a strong warm up match performance against tournament favourites Bangladesh, where they were just 12 runs away from victory.
Head coach Mark Coles is pleased with how things have been shaping up in Kuala Lumpur, not least adapting to the change from training in the Scottish winter to the considerably warmer local conditions.
“I’m very happy,” said Mark. “We had an open wicket, 28-over game in 34 degree heat which got us acclimatised pretty quickly, and I was delighted by the way in which the girls went about their business. I can safely say that that was the best session that I’ve seen since I’ve been involved: the intensity, the fearlessness – it was a very, very good practice.
“The key now is to keep improving on that, to get that one percent better every day, but it was a very good start.”
All matches will be live-streamed via icc.tv and live-scored on icc-cricket.com.
18th January: Scotland v Sri Lanka (5.15am UK time)
19th January: Scotland v Malaysia (5.15am UK time)
22nd January: Scotland v Kenya (1.30am UK time)
23rd January: Scotland v Bangladesh (1.30am UK time)
Abbi Aitken-Drummond; Kathyrn Bryce (c); Sarah Bryce (wk); Priyanaz Chatterji; Katherine Fraser; Lorna Jack; Ailsa Lister; Abtaha Maqsood; Megan McColl; Katie McGill; Hannah Rainey; Charis Scott; Rachel Slater; Ellen Watson