Scotland will face Namibia in the upcoming ICC Intercontinental Cup (I-Cup) and ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC) fixtures with positions still up for grabs.
Scotland sits in sixth position on 30 points with four games played and Namibia eighth on 20 in the eight-team competition, which is the pathway to Test cricket. Afghanistan currently leads the way on 81 points, with Ireland second on 80 points after five matches played.
The winning side of the I-Cup will get an opportunity to play the 10th-ranked Test side in the ICC Test Challenge in 2018 and then try to acquire Test status until the next event in 2022, provided it wins the challenge.
Kyle Coetzer, Scotland captain spoke ahead of the match in Ayr.
“We know the importance of doing well in the World Cricket League Championship, so the matches against Namibia are hugely important. We won’t be underestimating the dangerous Namibians,” he said.
Scotland head coach Grant Bradburn said: “The team is looking forward to this block of international cricket at home throughout June. Preparation over the winter and early part of the summer has been excellent and the players are now itching to play.
“The I-Cup is a format we value highly, however we have had limited actual game time, as 11 of our 16 days of I-Cup cricket during this three-year cycle, have been washed out. We look forward to our opening contest versus Namibia in Ayr, where the conditions normally offer something for every skill set.”
The ICC World Cricket League Championship matches will take place in Edinburgh on 11 and 13 June respectively, as teams are now just two steps away from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Scotland is currently fourth in the ICC World Cricket League Championship which is led by the Netherlands with 16 points from 10 matches. Scotland has 11 points from eight matches while Namibia is placed seventh with four points from 10 matches.
The top sides from this tournament, played on a double round-robin basis that gives 14 matches to each team, will join the bottom four sides from the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, which will be staged in 2018.
Namibia captain Sarel Burger said the two ICC tournaments are very important for his team.
“We are excited to come to Scotland and play in the WCLC and I-Cup fixtures. We are fully aware of the importance of these tournaments and how they give us the opportunity – if you do well – to climb the ladder,” he said.
Namibia coach, Dayanand Thakur said: “Both the I-Cup and WCLC fixtures will be tough against a good Scottish side, but we come here looking to improve on our positions in the standings and get some more international games under our belts.”
Scotland – ICC Intercontinental Cup squad: Kyle Coetzer (captain), Con de Lange, Richie Berrington, Matthew Cross, Alasdair Evans, Safyaan Sharif, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, Mark Watt, George Munsey, Craig Wallace, Chris Sole, Ruaidhri Smith.
Scotland – ICC World Cricket League Championship squad: Kyle Coetzer (captain), Con de Lange (vice-captain), Richie Berrington, Matthew Cross, Alasdair Evans, Safyaan Sharif, Michael Leask, Preston Mommsen, Calum MacLeod, Mark Watt, George Munsey, Craig Wallace, Chris Sole.
Namibia: Sarel Francois Burger (captain), Stephan Julian Baard, Helao Ya France, Jan Frylink, Zane Green, Jean-Pierre Kotze, Mika Mutumbe, Colin Peake, Johonnes Jonathan Smit, Bernhard Martinus Scholtz, Niolaas Riemert Scholtz, Gerrie Snyman, Waan van Vuuren, Craig George Williams.
Intercontinental Cup & World Cricket League Championship
Umpires: S Saikat, Allan Haggo, Ian Ramage
Match referee: David Jukes