Hobart: Scotland’s left-arm spinner Mark Watt has come down heavily on the International Cricket Council (ICC) for giving it just two T20I games across 12 months in the lead-up to the ICC T20 World Cup, saying “two T20s over a whole year is pretty hard to factor”.
Despite the abject lack of competitive matches, Scotland thrashed two-time T20 World Cup champions West Indies - whose players compete in lucrative leagues across the world all year round - by 42 runs in the ICC T20 World Cup First Round Group B match here on Monday, forcing Cricket West Indies (CWI) to apologise to its fans worldwide for the tame show.
Ahead of Scotland’s second Group B match against Ireland on Wednesday at the same venue, Watt when reminded about the inequality in the number of matches played by the two sides coming into the T20 World Cup, said, “Yeah, definitely. You know, we were desperate to play more cricket through the year. It’s no lie. Two T20s over a whole year is pretty hard to factor in when you’re preparing for a World Cup against the best teams in the world. But actually something that Associates have to get on with. We’ve got to save our special performances for the occasions like this.
“That’s what we try and do; and we’re desperate for more cricket. But at this moment in time, we’ve got to take what’s given to us and try and save our best cricket for these events.”
Coming into the T20 World Cup, Scotland played a two-match T20I series at home against New Zealand in July when the Kiwis were on their European tour. That, and the one-off ODI against New Zealand, is all the competitive preparation Scotland got over 12 months.
Watt said he wants to have a crack at the England team if Scotland qualify for the Super 12.
“Oh. I’d love that (playing against England).”
He said beating two-time T20 world champions West Indies was an amazing feeling.
“Yeah, unbelievable feeling. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. I just saw the messages coming back from home and seeing how proud everyone is and having my family at the ground, it’s starting to sink in a little bit, but yeah, the guys are just -- everyone is buzzing, but we know it’s only the first game. We’ve got to stay pretty level headed at the moment and there’s still a lot more to play in this competition.”
Ireland, meanwhile, didn’t have the best of starts to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022. They faced Zimbabwe in their first game and suffered a loss.
The Irish bowlers struggled to keep a check on the scoring rate as Zimbabwe posted 174 on the board. The Irish side picked up seven wickets in total, with Joshua Little finishing with three scalps.
In response, the batters failed to get going and finished their innings on 143/9, losing the game by 31 runs. They will now have to bring out their A-game to register their first win and keep their hope alive of making it to the Super 12 stage of the tournament.