Australia to tour Scotland after 11 years for first bilateral men’s T20I series

Australia

Scotland and Australia will play their first bilateral men’s T20I series this September in Edinburgh. It will be Australia’s first tour of Scotland in 11 years, and come before they play five ODIs against England. The games will be played at The Grange on September 4, 5 and 7, ahead of the first ODI against England at Trent Bridge on September 19.

The announcement came as the two sides prepared to meet in a T20 World Cup Group B fixture in St Lucia, which will decide whether England or Scotland join Australia in the Super Eight stage. England and Scotland are on three and five points respectively, behind Australia, who lead the group with six points. If Scotland beat Australia, they will progress, but could still qualify if they are defeated but maintain a superior net run-rate over England.

Australia were originally scheduled to play three ODIs and a T20I against Ireland in August and September, but Ireland withdrew from hosting the games because of financial issues. Cricket Australia subsequently approached Cricket Scotland earlier this year, seeking alternatives to the Ireland tour.

“Cricket Australia came to us and said we would like to partner with you and we said we would absolutely like to partner with you,” Cricket Scotland CEO Trudy Lindblade told ESPNcricinfo. “We just needed to find a way to make it happen. So, for us, it was a no-brainer to have Australia coming to Scotland before they play in England and it was just finding a way to make it happen. And thanks to the support of [CA chief executive] Nick Hockley and his team at Cricket Australia, we’ve been able to find a way.”

“We need to play high-quality cricket more often. The top Associate members will say the same as us and this will demonstrate, not just our on-the-field performance, but also the people in Scotland get to see the best possible cricket”

Cricket Scotland CEO Trudy Lindblade

Scotland and Australia have played just five matches – all ODIs – against each other over the years, and only twice outside of a World Cup, both at The Grange. Australia have been victorious on each occasion and the last time the two sides met in a bilateral fixture, in a one-off ODI in 2013, Australia recorded a thumping 200-run win. Richie Berrington, Scotland’s current captain, is the sole surviving player from the 2013 game on either side.
But while Scotland hope to be less accommodating on the field during the upcoming series, Lindblade, originally from Australia, believes the tour will provide the perfect opportunity to showcase what Edinburgh has to offer as a cricket destination, as the board deals with the fallout of damaging reports finding Cricket Scotland guilty of institutional racism and sexism.

“What a way to end the year to have Australia coming to Scotland, playing in three T20 internationals at the Grange, when we have been through such incredibly difficult times,” Lindblade said. “It will be a celebration of cricket in Scotland and we hope that everybody gets behind us and when tickets go on sale, that we have The Grange filled on three days and we can show everybody that cricket in Scotland is well and truly on its path forward and how much that it is a sport for everybody to enjoy.”

Lindblade hoped the tour will lead to other tours by Full-Member countries.

“We need to play high-quality cricket more often. The top Associate members will say the same as us and this will demonstrate, not just our on-the-field performance, but also the people in Scotland get to see the best possible cricket,” she said. “We want to get back into discussions with the board members about coming to Scotland. It’s not just a great place to play cricket, but it’s also a great place to visit. So whilst they’re here we can also make sure that they have an enjoyable time in between the matches. It’s a whole package when you come to Scotland.”

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