Laura and Lorna keen to help Scotland’s cricketers thrive in the Netherlands

Laura and Lorna keen to help Scotland’s cricketers thrive in the Netherlands

6 July, 2018 by Gilson Gray in Blog

Laura Grant and Lorna Jack are at different ends of the experience scale in terms of their cricket, but both are determined to help Scotland’s Women progress from the ICC World T20 global qualifiers in the Netherlands.

The whole squad gathered at Oriam on the outskirts of Edinburgh on Tuesday morning before flying off to the tournament which will see two sides from eight going through to the main event in the West Indies in November later this year.

They have a big weekend of group clashes, taking on Uganda on Saturday and Ireland on Sunday.

Thailand are next up the following Tuesday before the knock-out action.

Having performed well in the recent ECB T20 Division Two against English counties, the Scots have a good chunk of this format of the game under their belts this summer.

And the players, led by all-rounder Kathryn Bryce, took heart from seeing Scotland’s men recently defeat England in a 50-over clash and then win a T20 Tri-series in the Netherlands.

Grant, 17, is one of the newcomers to the group and is still at school at The Gordon Schools.

It is great to see talent like the 17-year-old from Huntly coming through to the international team and it shows that cricket is growing in popularity amongst young girls.

“The last year or so has been a bit of a whirlwind for me really,” the teenager said.

“It has been great to train and play with the Scotland players and I have learnt so much. Now I have to try and help the team in the Netherlands and I just have to concentrate on my own job.”

Jack has over 100 appearances under her belt for this team and the 25-year-old is excited by this squad.

“Over the last couple of years this squad have come on a lot and we have played quite a bit of T20 cricket and really worked on our individual roles within the team,” the Stirling County player said.

“We know that there are some top teams in these qualifiers, but we really have good team spirit and a determination to show people out with Scotland what we can do.

“We need to have a good weekend and really build from there, it is exciting.”

Meanwhile, head coach Steve Knox feels like his squad are in a good place heading to the Netherlands – and feels the players have taken confidence from the men’s side’s recent successes.

As a result, Knox believes there is a “quiet confidence” around the group.

“There is no doubt that the men’s team defeating England and then playing some great T20 cricket has given the girls more confidence heading to this tournament,” Knox, the former Scotland batsman, said.

The 44-year-old added:  “We were travelling back from Hampshire when the men’s team were beating England and we all stopped at a service station to watch the highlights on a handful of iPads and were cheering like mad!

“It just gave the girls that little bit more belief that they too can also compete with good sides and I think our T20 game is in a good place.

“There are a few newer faces in the group who will not have been at a tournament of this stature before, but they are there on merit and I am sure the nerves will soon disappear.

“We know that we will be facing some tough teams and we really have to be switched on from ball one and who knows where that can take us.

“There is a great team spirit around and I have seen some of these players progress so much in the last year to 18 months, so it is exciting to see what they can do on a stage such as this.”

Earlier in the year captain Bryce, 20, took over the national team’s skipper role from Abbi Aitken – who is still in the squad and will be an invaluable sounding board in the Netherlands – and she cannot wait for the tournament to start.

“When we went to the T20 qualifiers in Thailand back in 2015, I was really young and so were a lot of the others in the squad while we had not been exposed a lot to the shorter format of the white ball game,” she said.

“In the last few years we have progressed together as a group an I think we have a lot more belief in our capabilities now and know how to attack a T20 game in a more structured way.”

Scotland squad: Kathryn Bryce (c), Abbi Aitken Sarah Bryce, Priyanaz Chatterji, Becky Glen, Laura Grant, Lorna Jack, Abtaha Maqsood, Katie McGill, Jess Mills, Hannah Rainey, Rachel Scholes, Ellen Watson, Ruth Willis.

Scotland fixtures:

July 5 v Bangladesh (warm-up match) in Rotterdam at 12pm local/11am BST

July 7 v Uganda (group match) in Amstelveen at 12pm local/11am BST

July 8 v Ireland (group match) in Amstelveen at 12pm local/11am BST

July 10 v Thailand (group match) in Utrecht at 12pm local/11am BST

July 12 play-offs

July 14 final