It is a received wisdom that we Scots are to cricket what Norwegians are to surfing. And it’s not just that we aren’t particularly good at it, it’s the fact that we don’t want to be any good at it. Think cricket, and it’s difficult not to think of John Major lookalikes in panama hats, sipping Pimms and listening to plummy radio commentators who call each other ‘Johnners’ or some other irksome public school epithet.
‘The idea that Scots don’t like cricket is a misconception that’s promoted by the popular media,’ says Alex Richie, general manager of the Scottish Cricket Union. ‘Actually, there are more cricket clubs in Scotland than there are rugby clubs. Throughout the summer, more than 12,000 people regularly play the game in Scotland. And more cricket is played in places like Aberdeen than in many similar English cities.’
The Scottish Cricket Union has been in operation in some form or other since 1883. As well as affiliated clubs, the Union supports a national side that 'plays touring teams and participates in the Benson and Hedges Cup against English county sides. Scotland’s greatest successes have come in this competition: in 1986, they thrashed Lancashire and, in 1990, they repeated the feat against a well regarded Northamptonshire side that featured internationalists Allan Lamb and Curtly Ambrose. With a team that plays seasoned veterans like captain
HowzatI: Scotland captain George Salmond
George Salmond alongside an exciting young prospect like John Blain, Richie is hopeful about Scotland’s chances this year.
More important, however, is the Triple Crown round robin tournament to be played between Scotland, Wales, Ireland and an English amateur eleven in Wales at the beginning of July. ‘We’ve won the competition for the past two years in a row,’ declares Richie, ‘and we are out for the hat- trick.’
In the long term, Scotland aim to emulate their footballing compatriots by qualifying for the next World Cup in 1999. Who knows - we could see the tartan hordes switching codes and donning panamas, knocking back Pimms and calling each other ‘Shuggers’ as they follow their cricketing heroes to Edgebaston or the Oval. (John Richardson)
Events are listed alphabetically by sport, then by day. Fixtures are correct at time of publication, but may be affected by weather. Sports Listings compiled by Brian Donaldson.
BASEBALL Sunday 5
BRITISH BASEBALL LEAGUE SCOTTISH CONFERENCE
I Glasgow Comets v Dundee Dodgers Linwood Sports Centre. Glasgow.
I Tayside Cobras v Edinburgh Reivers Diamond .Iubilee Park. Alyth.
BRITISH BASEBALL LEAGUE SCOTTISH CONFERENCE
I Edinburgh Reivers v Dundee Dodgers Jack Kane Sports Centre. Edinburgh.
I Glasgow Comets v Tayside Cobras Linwood Sports Centre. (ilasgow.
For further information call the British Baseball Eederation (Scottish Federation) on 01382 668420
SCOTTISH CRICKET LEAGUE
I Aberdeenshire v Strathmore Morningside Road. Aberdeen. 1pm.
I Carlton v Watsonians Grange Loan. Edinburgh. 1pm.
I Freuchie v Heriot’s FP Cricket Ground. Ereuchie. Ipiii.
I Grange V Prestwick Raeburn Place. Edinburgh. 1pm.
I West Lothian v Arbroath United
Boghall. I.inlithgow. Ipm.
SCOTTISH CRICKET LEAGUE
I Aberdeenshire v Heriot’s FP Morningside Road. Ipm.
I Freuchie V Carlton Cricket Ground. I-‘reuchie. 1pm
I Prestwick v Arbroath United Prestwick ()vaI. Prestwick. Ipm.
I Strathmore v Grange I.ochsidc Road. Eorfar. 1pm.
I Watsonians v West Lothian .‘Vlyreside
For full details on the Scottish Cricket League. call the Scottish Cricket League Committee on 0131 538 1652.
BENSON & HEOGES CUP
I Scotland v Worcestershire Grange Cricket Club. Edinburgh. 11am. For further information. call the Scottish Cricket Union on 0131 317 7247.
FOOTBALL Saturday 4
I Aberdeen V Falkirk Pittodrie Stadium. Pittodrie Street. Aberdeen. 3pm.
I Celtic v Raith Rovers Celtic Park. Kerrydale Street. Glasgow. 3pm.
I Hibs V Partick Thistle Easter Road Stadium. Albion Road. Edinburgh. 3pm. I Kilmarnock v Rangers Rugby Park. Rugby Road. Kilmarnock. 3pm.
I Motherwell V Hearts Eir Park. Eirpark Street. Motherwell. 3pm.
I Dundee v St Johnstone Dens Park. Sandeman Street. Dundee. 3pm.
I Dunfennline v Airdrie East End Park. Halbeath Road. Dunfermline. 3pm.
I Hamilton v Dumbarton Douglas Park. Douglas Park Lane. Hamilton. 3pm.
I Morton v Dundee United Cappielow Park. Sinclair Street. Greenock. 3pm.
I St Mirren v Clydebank St M irren Put-k. Love Street. Paisley. 3pm. See Hit List.
Eli]— Thursday 9—Sunday 12
I SPGA Scottish Professional Championship Dalmahoy. 300 qualifiers will have been narrowed down to a field of around 120 swingers including favourites such as Gordon Sherry. Mark Miller. Ross Drummond and Adam Hunter. Tee-offs each day at 8am. More details from the SPGA on 0132-1 56245 I.
I National Cup Finals Pefferniill. Edinburgh. Women's District Plate. 10am; Men's Reserve Cup Final. noon; Women's District Cup Final. 2pm; Men‘s District Cup Final. 4pm.
I National Cup Finals Pefferiiiill. Edinburgh. Women's National League Plate. I 1am; Women's National League Cup. 1pm; Scotsman Cup. 3pm. More information from the Scottish Hockey Union on 0131 650 8170.
MOTOR SPORT Sunday 5
I Days Of Thunder Race Day Knockhill Racing Circuit. Dunfermline. 9.30am. This eighteen race event stars the Brandon Motors-sponsored V8 TVR 450bhp Tuscans and the American ster V8 Thunder & Eurocars. Call the venue on 01383 622090 for further details.
IUEEIIEEEIII- Sunday 5
I British Relay Championships CoiIIe Nathais. ()ban. The first competitors are off at 10am with the prizes due to be handed out at 1.30pm. Extra details available from the Scottish Orienteering Association on 0131 332 30-45.
mum]- Saturday 4-Sunday 5
I The Celtic Challenge Bells Sports Centre. Perth. The Scottish Petanquers take oti their Welsh and Irish counterparts
Catch the best Sport this fortnight.
I The Celtic Challenge Scotland and their B team meet the Welsh and Irish top flights over two days and sixteen matches each. The Welsh are the current holders while the Scots need to go back to the inaugural tournament in 1990 for their last victory. Further details from the Scottish Petanque Association on 01786 470619. Bell's Sports Centre. Peri/i. Sat J—Sun 5. Mum.
I Scottish First Division The final day looks set to be unfeasibly tense and dramatic even by this division's standards. Dundee L'nited look favourites to bounce straight back into the top ﬂight but their trip to face an ambitious Morton could open the door for Dunfermline. Paul Sturrock's St Johnstone will also be in the frame for a play-off placeSee [I'SIIIIIJAI TENNIS
I West End Tennis an Es-Olympic athlete and he of the outrageous laugh. Kris Akabusi is in town to support Glasgow City Council’s promotion ofjunior tennis. Junior action begins at 10am. while the adults are on couit at 2pm. DUIt'tlII/If” Lawn Tennis (Tit/2. I.)Ull'(lll.\‘f(/f' Rum/,(I ItlSL’Ull'. Sill 4.
for this annual event. now in its fifth year. See IIit I.ist.
I SRU Tennents Scottish 1556 Cup Final Murrayfield. Edinburgh. Call the Scottiin Rugby Union for time and team details on 0131 3-16 5000. The ticket hotliiie is 0131 3.16 5038.
BREE- Saturday 4
I Glenmorangie Camanachd Cup Semi- Final Taynuilt. .-\rg_vIIshii'e. 2.30pm. I-oit William take on ()ban (Lunanachd. with a place in the final on 1 June the pit/e for the \ ictoi‘s. More information c.iii be gleaned from The Catiianachd Association on 01540 6? i216.
I West of Scotland Open Dechmoiil Range. (.‘ambuslang, A 9am start for long- range target enthusiasts. Distances \ ai'y from 300 to 1000 yards. I-‘oi' further details call the Scottiin RilIe .’\\.\DCI;IIIUII on 0131 664 9674.
I West End Tennis an Dow anhiII I aw n Tennis Club. Dowanhill. .-\ special event in support of (ilasgow (‘in Council's I.ove Tennis initiative. See IIit I.I\l.
I Night Slalom Scottish Water Ski Council. I)unferiiiline. 2.30pm. Performing 111 this event are the current Scottish Under-21. Scottish Junior and Scottiin National champions. More information from the Scottish Water Ski Association on 01383 620123.
B4 The List 3-16 May 1996