ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers: Scotland Denied


Sport can be a cruel business, as Scotland’s cricketers discovered in Zimbabwe on Wednesday.


In their bid for a World Cup qualifying place, they were going toe-to-toe with the West Indies, a team who have previously reigned twice in the game’s global showpiece.


Yesterday, though it was less reign than rain which took them through, after the heavens opened and the dreaded Duckworth-Lewis method came into the equation. The Scots, chasing 199, were five runs short of where they should have been. In an instant, their hopes were extinguished and they have been denied their fourth World Cup show.


Yet, if they had simply been out-performed, that would have been a fair outcome. On the contrary, though, they lost one of their star batsmen, Richie Berrington, lbw to an absolutely shocking decision by Australian umpire, Paul Wilson.


It came at a critical juncture, with Berrington well set and fully capable of orchestrating a victory charge. But instead, he was given out when almost everybody in the ground – and certainly the TV commentators – reckoned the delivery by Ashley Nurse was nowhere close to hitting the stumps.


If this incident had happened in the World Cup itself, it would have been reviewed without a second glance and the DRS system would have proved Wilson’s decision was wrong.


But sadly, the ICC hasn’t got round to using the DRS in this qualifying event,so Berrington had to go.


It wasn’t the first awful ruling to affect the Scots. On Sunday, Ireland’s Andrew Balbirnie was trapped plumb lbw when he had scored just one. But the umpire gave him a reprieve. And he went on to amass 105!


It is a heartbreaking way for Kyle Coetzer’s men to miss out. And, of course, the ICC is culpable in the wider picture by restricting next year’s World Cup to just ten teams.


Just look at some of the exciting matches which have taken place in the last fortnight. In basic terms, Scotland beat Afghanistan, who defeated the West Indies, who beat Zimbabwe, who tied with Scotland. All these teams would be a credit to the 2019 tournament in England.


Other sports are expanding. Cricket, though, is heading backwards.



  1. Dave Brown says

    It’s a terrible shame, Neil. The ICC must be the only organization in the world that seeks to further restrict its showcase tournament – absolutely farcical. And Scotland were fully robbed – the fact that, in such an important tournament and match that the best available umpires weren’t being utilized (although Wilson is normally fine), DRS was not available, and spare days were not allocated to get full results is an embarrassment to world cricket.

  2. Agree with Browny. Scotland waz robbed!
    The decision not to include associates in the World Cup is short-sighted and ridiculous.
    So much for trying to expand cricket’s horizons.

  3. Yes Neil, reducing the amount of teams in the World Cup does not make sense to me. Who made this call and why ?

    Ashley Nurse: any relation to the West Indian batsmen of yore Seymour Nurse?


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