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Scotland cricket team: Doug Watson returns as head coach

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South African Doug Watson has been named head coach of the Scotland men’s team after a successful period in interim charge last summer.

Scotland beat Ireland, the UAE, Oman, West Indies and Zimbabwe in the ICC World Cup qualifier during that period.

They then won the T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier, which secured their passage to this summer’s T20 World Cup in West Indies and the United States.

The 50-year-old will take over in April after he finishes as Auckland’s coach.

He has been Auckland Aces’ coach since June 2022 and guided them to New Zealand’s domestic T20 title, the Super Smash, this season as well as reaching the final of the 50-over Ford Trophy.

Watson, who stepped in as Scotland coach last summer when Shane Burger left for Somerset, will now lead the side in this summer’s T20 World Cup, where they have been drawn against England, Australia, Oman and Namibia in the group stages.

“I’m really excited to be rejoining – I had a wonderful time in 2023 and I’m looking forward to getting back to work with the players and staff alike,” said Watson.

“I love the city of Edinburgh and the Scottish people, and working with such a good group of players and seeing their determination and their passion to represent Scotland and the badge was a big part of my desire to come back.

“The men’s squad are a fantastic group, and we had a great time working together, first out in Zimbabwe and then at the T20 Qualifier.

“We’ve got a lot of hard work to do ahead of the T20 World Cup, but there’s some great fixtures to look forward to.

“We play England and Australia, as well as Namibia and Oman, so they’re all going to be tough games, but we’ve also got to make sure that we see it as a wonderful opportunity to showcase our passion, our fight, and our skills.”

Watson has previously held coaching roles with Mumbai Indians, Wellington, Kwa-Zulu Natal Inland and Namibia as well as stepping in as New Zealand’s batting coach in their 2023 Test series against England.

Cricket Scotland’s head of performance Steve Snell says Watson’s “enthusiasm, passion, and interest” in improving cricket in Scotland was evident throughout the interview process.

“I’m extremely pleased we’ve managed to secure the services of Doug on a permanent basis,” Snell added.

“We interviewed candidates across the world from a number of high-performance environments, and it was a hugely competitive process.

“Doug is a high-quality coach and an excellent cultural fit for Cricket Scotland.

“He possesses outstanding cricketing experience, allied to his superb people skills, and we are really excited about his appointment.

“He will make a huge difference – not just to the men’s squad but within Scottish cricket as a whole.”

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