Good luck to Scotland who play in the qualifying competition for the ICC World T20 which gets underway in the UAE today.
16 teams are slugging it out over 12 days for 2 spots in the competition proper in Sri Lanka later this year. It is one of the exercises the ICC have instituted to make the associate nations scramble for crumbs from the Test Playing nations' table. There is real competition.
It would be a great fillip to Scottish cricket if Gordon Drummond and the boys could make it to Sri Lanka. They face a series of 7 matches which will decide whether they go into the second phase which will determine the top 2. Among those Scotland face are old rivals Ireland and Kenya but also new faces Italy and Papua New Guinea. Both the latter 2 teams have the benefit of experienced Test players to help them through - ex Australian batsman Michael de Venuto rediscovers his roots as part of the Italian team and PNG field 2005 Ashes wicket keeper Geriant Jones who although he lacks a suitably Polynesian namewas born in Papua New Guinea . Scotland face tough qualifying task, but the competition is no less fierce in the other group where Afghanistan and Netherlands are among the favourites to progress.
Can Scotland do it? There is no reason why not if they fire on all cylinders. But T20 is a risky business and there is more potential for surprises along the way than in other formats. So FB is quietly optimistic and hopeful. He will refrain from forecasting. Longstanding visitors to these pages will know just how inaccurate Fantasy Bob's match forecasting can be. Here are some of his previous predictions:
- Napoleon to win by 5 wickets at Waterloo
- Custer to get the runs at Little Big Horn
- Germany to win the World Cup in 1966 (FB forgets who went on to win)
- Kenneth McKellar to win Eurovision in 1966
- Fantasy Bob to win Nobel Prize for Literature