We aren’t afraid, here to win: Scotland’s Cross looks to challenge Aussies, England in T20 WC

Bengaluru, May 15 (PTI) Scotland might be short on big-match experience but not in confidence as vice-captain Matthew Cross on Wednesday hoped to meaningfully challenge England and Australia during next month’s T20 World Cup.

Scotland are placed in Group B, consisting of title holders England, former champions Australia, besides fellow Associates Oman and Namibia, in the ICC showpiece to be held in the Americas.

“We are here to win. We are not afraid. We have enough talent on our side to give them a good challenge,” Cross told PTI during an online interaction after a function to announce Karnataka-based diary major ‘Nandini’ as the Scotland and Ireland team sponsor for the World Cup.

Pacer Chris Sole, who has considerable experience in various T20 leagues around the world, was banking on Scotland’s prior experience in the West Indian conditions to spring a surprise or two.

Scotland will play their group matches in Barbados, Antigua and Gros Islet.

Sole has played for St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League in August last year.

“Many of us have prior experience in the West Indies. We have played quite a bit of cricket there, and are aware of the conditions and pitches in the Caribbean.

“Hopefully, that will help us in the tournament (T20 WC) as we are up against some very good team out there. It will be exciting to face England and Australia in a World Cup,” said the 30-year-old Sole.

Scotland have added top-order batter Michael Jones and pacer Brad Wheal to their World Cup squad, and Cross said their experience in English County cricket will be handy for his side.

The 26-year-old Jones has appeared for Durham, Leicestershire and Derbyshire while earning himself a name as a hard-hitting batsman upfront.

The 27-year-old Wheal, on the other hand, has had a good run with Hampshire, and in the Hundred for Trent Rockets and London Spirit, grabbing a total of 72 wickets from 56 T20s.

“It’s nice to have them with us. They have got this good experience in England over the last couple of years. They have consistently played with and against good cricketers there, and hopefully we can tap in that a bit,” said Cross.

Cross also hoped that Scotland can further sharpen their game in the upcoming tri-series also involving Ireland and Netherlands.

“It’s a nice opportunity. All of us are World Cup-bound. So, it will help us to get familiarise with each other and take our game one level higher,” he added.

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