Kyle Coetzer’s 5000


Cricket is a tough sport for anybody wearing a Scotland shirt. If it’s not raining, people are dismissing it as a minority pursuit, or claiming it should be left to the English.


So let’s raise a toast to the achievement of Aberdeen-born Kyle Coetzer in becoming the first Scot in the history of the game to score 5,000 runs for his country. It has been a long haul for the quietly-spoken Stoneywood-Dyce star, but this is a man with lashings of pride, professionalism and passion.


It must be 15 years now since I first talked to the then-teenage Coetzer, but even at that stage, he was incredibly committed to training, working hard in the nets, video analysis, being the best he could be.


There weren’t many opportunities for youngsters to shine in Scotland, so he took the decision to move down to England. It was a tough induction, but Coetzer is a resolute and determined individual. He was at Northants, at Durham, accumulating experience and runs with the attitude he would overcome any obstacles.


It can’t be overstated how difficult it is for anybody to break into county cricket: a treadmill of endless travel to and from matches contested in front of a few hundred spectators.


But Coetzer has proved his worth at the highest level. During the last World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2015, he was scintillating during a knock of 156 against ICC Full Members Bangladesh. His heroics ultimately proved in vain, but he dazzled a global audience with some stunning pyrotechnics.


Now, at 33, he is doing his best to ensure Scotland reach next year’s World Cup. It’s a tough task, given that only two of the 10 teams at the ongoing qualifying event in Zimbabwe will gain entry to the showpiece competition.


But Coetzer is ambitious, still full of aspirations and his attitude is contagious. In the last week, he and his compatriots have trounced Afghanistan, and beaten Hong Kong and Nepal. If they can overcome the hosts on Monday, there is a real possibility they could advance to a prize almost nobody expected.


Coetzer did, though. He’s also the side’s beetle-browed captain and has amassed a wealth of knowledge during his peripatetic career.


He is a modest character, but that shouldn’t stop the rest of us from saluting his exploits!



  1. Luke Reynolds says

    Thanks Neil, Coetzer has been a fantastic player.
    Have been following this World Cup Qualifying tournament closely, would be incredible if the Scots could make it through. Sadly, some very good teams, such as Afghanistan, won’t be at the World Cup next year. Of all the bad decisions the ICC have made, cutting the World Cup back to just 10 teams is by far the worst.

  2. Neil Drysdale says

    He has been a terrific player for many years, but his lack of recognition sums up the problems for the Associate Nations. That is why the ICC’s decision to reduce the number of participants to 10 at next year’s World Cup is such an awful retrograde step. Cricket badly needs to expand, but the process is being bungled. There’s now a probability that neither of the two new Test nations – Ireland and Afghanistan – will be at the World Cup. It’s crazy!

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