Glasgow, March 6 (IANS) Cricket Scotland on Monday announced Doug Watson as the interim head coach of the men’s team. Watson, who’s currently the head coach of male performance with the Auckland Aces, will start work with Cricket Scotland on April 8 and is contracted until July 31.
He will oversee Scotland’s quest of competing in the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe and in the 2024 World T20 Europe Qualifiers, which are being held this year in July in Edinburgh.
Watson’s appointment comes after Shane Burger, Scotland’s head coach since 2019, stepped down earlier this year to take over as batting coach of English county side Somerset. His last assignment with Scotland saw him lift the Cricket World Cup League 2 title in Nepal.
“Firstly, I’m really thankful to everyone at Auckland Cricket for allowing me to pursue this opportunity with Cricket Scotland. It’s a wonderful chance for me to coach another country, and Scotland’s Men have been doing really well over the last four years.”
“I’m looking forward to carrying on and developing the great work that Shane Burger has put in here. I know Shane well, he’s worked really hard to help get Scotland to where they are, and it was great to see them lift the CWCL2 trophy last week in Nepal.”
“I know it’s obviously a short period of time that I’ll be in charge, but there are two massive tournaments coming up which will be tough for us, especially the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe in June. But it’s also an exciting time as well — I’m looking forward to it and it’s going to be fun,” said Watson in a statement.
As a player, Watson represented Kwa-Zulu Natal, becoming their all-time most-capped player, and gained international recognition with South Africa A. After moving into coaching, he worked as head coach of Namibia from 2012-2015.
He’s also worked with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, the Wellington Firebirds in New Zealand, and served as head coach of Kwa-Zulu Natal Inland. He became Auckland’s head coach last June, signing a three-year contract.
This followed a successful previous spell there as Assistant Head Coach when he helped the team win the Ford Trophy domestic 50-over competition in 2020. Just last month, Doug stepped in as batting coach for the New Zealand Men’s Test squad during their recent series against England.
“I’m delighted to welcome Doug to Cricket Scotland. We conducted a very thorough hiring process and looked at around forty-five candidates. We wanted someone who’d been previously involved with coaching smaller teams, with Associate Cricket, with experience of World Cup Qualifying competitions, with knowledge of top-level cricket, and with experience of Zimbabwe.”
“Doug really fit the bill in all those cases. We had some of the Men’s players on the interview panel, which I think was really important for them to be involved with so that they had some buy-in as to who will be coaching them for the next four months.”
“The Auckland Aces have a very good coaching system, and a testament to that is Doug’s recent involvement with the Black Caps in the series against England. We look forward to him starting work with us in April,” said Toby Bailey, Cricket Scotland’s interim head of performance.