|Event:||ICC Inter-Continental Cup 2004|
Scotland captain: more three-day cricket will benefit development
From ICC media release
In the second of a series of interviews with the captains of the ICC Intercontinental Cup semi-finalists, Scotland's Craig Wright explains why his side are relishing the prospect of competing in the finals of the three-day first-class tournament in the UAE.
Q: How important is the ICC Intercontinental Cup to your team?
A: The Intercontinental Cup is important to Scotland along with all the other ICC events as we aim to push our case as one of the strongest Associate Member countries. With the competition being three-day games I think this gives a good reflection of the strengths of the teams which can sometimes be masked in one-day cricket. We have played some of our best cricket this season in the ICC Intercontinental Cup and it would be a fantastic achievement for us to become the inaugural winners of this competition.
Q: Do you think playing three-day international cricket has benefited your team?
A: I am not sure if playing only two three-day games (excluding finals) each season is enough to make any noticeable difference to playing standards, but I agree totally with the principle and if we were able to play more three-day cricket not only at senior level but at age-group level I am sure this would have a beneficial impact on the development of players.
Q: How do the tactics for the three day game differ from limited overs cricket?
A: The tactics differ greatly and as captain it is great to be able to have a bit more scope to improvise in the three-day matches as opposed to the one-dayers which can become a bit formulaic at times.
Q: Can you remember the first time you played 'declaration cricket' (ie not limited overs), where was it, how many wickets runs did you get?
A: I played two-day matches at U/16 age group level against Wales and England Schools around about 1990. I was considered more of a batsman in that team and don't think I bowled in either of the two games but I think I managed to get a few runs.
Q: What were the highlights of the qualifying matches?
A: The highlight of the qualifying matches on a personal level making my highest score for Scotland, 88 not out against Holland. From an overall perspective the performance of the team - and Asim Butt and Fraser Watts in particular - against Ireland in the other match was something special.
Q: What are your strengths as a team?
A:Our strengths as a team are that we have very good depth in our batting and our bowling unit usually performs consistently well. The team contains a great deal of experience and most of the players have played at national team level for several years. We are also able for this tournament to field several contracted county players which obviously adds to the quality and experience of the rest of the squad.
Q: Have you made any special plans for any of the opposition?
A: We have videos of the opposition teams, but this has been made slightly irrelevant by the fact that Kenya have only named a couple of the players who feature in the footage that we have. Having said this, as always we will focus mainly on our own performance and given the quality and experience in our squad we expect to play some good cricket.