Scotland v Sri Lanka: New head coach Shane Burger aims high

Scotland meet Sri Lanka on Saturday in the first of two one-day internationals after a narrow loss to Afghanistan
Scotland meet Sri Lanka on Saturday in the first of two one-day internationals after a narrow loss to Afghanistan
One Day International: Scotland v Sri Lanka
Venue: The Grange, Edinburgh Date: Saturday, 18 May Time: 11:00 BST

Scotland can build on the good work of recent years and reach "new heights" with an increased schedule of matches, says head coach Shane Burger.

Sri Lanka visit Edinburgh for one-day internationals on Saturday and Tuesday following last week's rain-affected 1-0 series loss to Afghanistan.

That was Scotland's first home ODI since beating England last June.

"I don't think the players in this group realise how good they can be," Burger told BBC Scotland.

"There is so much more potential to be found and we have some good younger players pushing through, which keeps pressure on the more established ones.

"To take it to another level we need more cricket and that will happen over the next three years. The more we play, especially in different conditions and against better teams, the more we're going to keep on improving.

"With limited cricket and limited facilities, it's amazing what this team has already done and hopefully we can reach new heights."

Following the series with Sri Lanka, Scotland will begin the new Cricket World Cup League Two in August with home encounters against Oman and Papa New Guinea.

The competition will consist of 36 ODIs over two-and-a-half years, with the top three teams earning a place in the qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup.

"For me, it's about how do we become more consistent," said Burger. "How do we keep beating the so-called bigger teams?

"Qualifying for the 2023 World Cup is something we definitely have in our minds and there is the potential of two T20 World Cups over the next two years and that's something we are really excited about.

"We've been a very good training team, now we need to be a team that goes on the road and can keep performing."

Sri Lanka 'full of x-factor players'

With the first scheduled match against Afghanistan washed out completely, Burger's Scotland debut was a "gutting" two-run loss under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.

In reply to 325-7, the visitors reached 269-3 after 44.5 overs.

"There was real hurt in the dressing room," said Burger. "This team has high expectations. We are playing a very attacking brand of cricket, our batters are all in good form.

"Our target was to win all four matches, the players were adamant about that. We couldn't get over the line against Afghanistan but we are really up for the challenge of Sri Lanka.

"They are a team in transition, with one or two new faces but they are full of x-factor players, match-winners. They have just beaten South Africa in South Africa, so we are looking forward to facing world-class players."

Scotland squad: Kyle Coetzer (captain), Dylan Budge, Scott Cameron (cover), Matthew Cross (wk), Alasdair Evans, Michael Jones, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Tom Sole, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal.

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