Scotland: World Cup thrills Kyle Coetzer despite captaincy 'hurt'

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Aberdonian Kyle Coetzer plays county cricket for Northants
Aberdonian Kyle Coetzer plays county cricket for Northants

Kyle Coetzer has revealed it was painful to lose the Scotland captaincy for the 2015 World Cup, but will completely support his successor.

Preston Mommsen will lead the national side in Australia and New Zealand.

"I was obviously a bit hurt not having the role for the World Cup," Coetzer told BBC Scotland.

"It would've been a huge honour, but it's not the be-all-and-end-all. The World Cup's about performing personally but also playing as a group."

Northants batsman Coetzer became Scotland captain in May 2013 but injuries interrupted his progress before head coach Grant Bradburn opted for South African-born Mommsen.

"Preston has performed hugely well in high pressure situations," said Coetzer, who made his international debut against Pakistan in 2003 and played in the 2007 World Cup.

"I'll give him all the backing and support, as does everyone else in the set-up. Preston's the right man to be leading us forward in this competition and it's very exciting for him.

Scotland's World Cup fixtures
17 FebNew Zealand, Dunedin
23 FebEngland, Christchurch
26 FebAfghanistan, Dunedin
5 MarchBangladesh, Nelson
11 MarchSri Lanka, Hobart
14 MarchAustralia, Hobart

"I'm right there with him as one of the more senior players. Being vice-captain is still a huge honour for me and I'll be trying to help Preston as much as I can."

Coetzer, 30, reckons the current side's fitness and performance levels are at their highest ever and is eager to play a part in the cricketing showpiece which begins on 13 February.

"As a youngster you would be sat down watching these games on television," recalled the Aberdonian.

"I still remember watching Scotland playing in it 1999. It's very exciting to be coming up against the world's best in a number of games."

Scotland will play six matches in Pool A, which includes New Zealand, England, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Australia.

Kyle Coetzer captained Scotland from May 2013 to September 2014
Kyle Coetzer led Scotland from May 2013 to September 2014

Their opening contest is against the Kiwis in Dunedin on 17 February.

"When we line up in the first game and the anthem starts being played, it will be a very passionate, strong, impacting moment in my career.

"I remember doing it in the T20 World Cup and seeing my parents looking down with South Africa lining up next to us. That was a nice moment in my career but this could possibly top it."

Coetzer, who has represented his country through all possible age groups, thinks having the two host nations in Scotland's pool is "special".

However, he knows the third and fourth matches against Afghanistan and Bangladesh are where points are most likely to be picked up.

"Momentum is a big thing in cricket," he said.

"If it's possible to get a win against New Zealand or England leading into those two middle games then momentum could help us in a huge way.

"Our aim is to beat a full member nation, which we haven't done in a world tournament yet."