Cricket in Scotland

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Cricket has a considerably lower profile in Scotland than it has in neighbouring England. Scotland is not one of the twelve leading cricketing nations which play Test matches, but the Scottish national team is now allowed to play full One Day Internationals even outside the Cricket World Cup, in which Scotland competed in 2007. Scotland has a well established recreational cricket structure. In 2016 it was estimated that around 17,000 people play cricket in Scotland[1]


Cricket in Scotland has a long history, which can be traced back to the 18th century.

However, it has been afflicted by Anglocentrism, with many notable Scottish players joining the English national team, instead of their own, and with the Scottish national team playing as an English county side.


The governing body for Scottish cricket is Cricket Scotland, which administers women's cricket and junior cricket as well as the men's game.

The then Scottish Cricket Union resigned from the UK Cricket Council in 1992, effectively severing links with the organisation of cricket in England. In 1994 Scotland became an Associate Member of the International Cricket Council.[2]

Men's national team

The Scottish men's team competed in the Cricket World Cup in 1999. It lost all five of its matches and was eliminated in the preliminary round. Scotland failed to qualify for the 2003 World Cup but successfully qualified for the 2007 event in the West Indies. Scotland won the qualifying tournament, the ICC Trophy, in Ireland in 2005. Scotland played Australia, South Africa and the Netherlands in the opening group stage in 2007. Most of the members of Scotland's national team are amateurs, although a few Scots have played professionally in English domestic cricket, and for the England national team, including former captain Mike Denness.

In 2003, the Scottish team was granted a place in the English national one day cricket league in the hope that playing against professional cricketers on a regular basis would improve the performance level of the best Scottish cricketers.

The Scottish national team qualified for both the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and 2016 ICC World Twenty20 tournaments.

Domestic amateur leagues

Scotland has a number of different amateur cricket leagues held throughout the country which are governed by the three sub-organisations of Cricket Scotland:

Each of these organisations is responsible for running their respective regional leagues. The East of Scotland Cricket Association runs 9 divisions, with the Eastern Premier League containing 10 teams.[3][4] Similarly, the Western District Cricket Union also runs a 10 team Premier League, with a further 3 divisions with Evening and Sunday Leagues as well.[5] The Aberdeenshire Cricket Association holds 4 grades of cricket with around 25 clubs fielding over 30 teams throughout summer[6]

Notable Scottish cricketers

Scottish cricket's lower profile results partly from the fact that many of its best players have either played in England, or for it.

The most famous cricketers to have come from Scotland are probably the former England captain, Mike Denness, Warwickshire all-rounder Dougie Brown, and former England test players Gavin Hamilton and Gregor MacGregor who represented Scotland at Rugby as well as England at Cricket.[7] Another great Scottish cricketer was Brian Hardie, who was a major contributor to the successful Essex side of the 70's and 80's. Possibly one of the best spinners and a respected journalist was Ian Peebles,[8] who was one of the cricketers of the year in 1931 alongside Donald Bradman. R. C. Robertson-Glasgow played for Oxford University and Somerset and later became a prominent cricket writer and correspondent. The South African-born former England captain Tony Greig also qualified for the team due to his Scottish parentage.[9]

The most infamous cricketer was a Scot, Douglas Jardine, father to and inventor of "Leg Theory", which is well documented under "Bodyline". Jardine was born in British India, brought up in St Andrews, spent most of his life in England, died in Switzerland and his ashes were scattered in Perthshire.[10] His parents were Scottish, and he gave his own children Scottish names.

Scots also played for other countries: Tom Campbell for South Africa[11] and Archie Jackson for Australia.[12]


  1. ^ "Sport participation rises in Scotland". BBC News. 2016-07-23. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  2. ^ "Scots turning up for cricket". October 2005. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "CSL Eastern Premier League 2016". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  4. ^ "Cricket Scotland Future Structures Group - Final Proposals - News - Weirs Cricket Club". 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  5. ^ "Season Summary 2015 | Western District Cricket Union". 2015-09-22. Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  6. ^ "About the ACA - Aberdeenshire Cricket Association". Retrieved 2016-10-03. 
  7. ^ "Gregor MacGregor". ESPN cricinfo. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Wisden Cricketers of the Year". CricketArchive. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Allan Massie: Tony Greig was a Scots sporting great". The Scotsman. 31 December 2012. 
  10. ^ Massie, Alex (20 April 2013). "Mike Denness and an All-Time Scottish Cricket XI". The Spectator Bloggers. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Tom Campbell". ESPN cricinfo. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "Archie Jackson". ESPN cricinfo. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 

Further reading

  • The Story of Cricket in Scotland by John S. Carruthers (1950)
  • Scottish Cricketers 1905–1980 by R.W.S. Miller (1980)
  • The Bicentenary of Cricket in Scotland by Paul C.M. Roberts (1988)
  • The Encyclopedia of Scottish Cricket by David W. Potter (1999) (the major work on the subject)
  • Saltire and Flannels by Fraser Simm (2000)
  • Echoes of a Summer Game by Fraser Simm (2007)
  • As the Willow Vanishes by Richard S Young (2014)

External links

  • Western District Cricket Union - Official Site
  • East of Scotland Cricket Association - Official Site
  • Watsonians Cricket Club Site
  • Cricket Scotland – official site
  • The Rampant Lion – Independent Scottish Cricket site
  • The Woodcutters Cricket Club site
  • Musselburgh Cricket Club site
  • Ardrossan Cricket Club
  • St. Michael's Cricket Club (Dumfries) – Club site
  • Tranent Cricket Club site
  • Murrayfield-DAFS Cricket Club site
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