Collingwood gets Scotland top job

The Northern Echo: NEW ROLE: Durham captain Paul Collingwood is now joint head coach of Scotland NEW ROLE: Durham captain Paul Collingwood is now joint head coach of Scotland

PAUL Collingwood has been promoted to joint head coach by Scotland as they prepare to tackle the World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand.

The Durham captain was assistant to Pete Steindl during the failed bid to qualify for the World Twenty20 finals, to be held in Bangladesh in March. At the qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates Scotland finished an embarrassing seventh while the likes of Hong Kong and Nepal got through.

Steindl's name was absent from a Cricket Scotland statement, indicating that he has been quietly removed after six years in the job.

Collingwood will share his duties with former Scotland player Craig Wright, who was previously the performance development manager. The appointment will last no more than a month and after his final season as a player next year the Durham skipper is likely to seek a permanent role in coaching or management.

The Scotland side looked worse than ever when they visited Durham in the CB 40 League last summer and they are clearly looking to Collingwood for some inspiration.

The team will again be captained by Northamptonshire's ex-Durham batsman Kyle Coetzer in the 50-over tournament, in which only two of the ten teams will qualify.

Coetzer said: "There are three good teams there in Hong Kong, Nepal and the UAE that we recently played against at the World Twenty20 qualifiers. They got through while we didn't, so recent form suggests it will be tough for us early on."

Scotland, who flew to New Zealand yesterday, have two friendly games before playing Hong Kong at Queenstown on January 13, followed by Canada three days later.

The top three teams from the two groups will go through to the Super Six stage and only the two finalists will qualify for Bangladesh.

Coetzer, who also featured when Scotland failed to get through the qualifiers in South Africa in 2009, said "It would be great for our fans back home if we qualified and encourage so many more people to take up the sport.

"It would also be huge for us personally, as players, and would be a tremendous way for all of us to give back to the country and to gain what we all feel is due recognition."

The squad also includes Yorkshire seamer Iain Wardlaw and Sussex batsman Matt Machan, but ex-Warwickshire all-rounder Neil Carter has been left out.

Of the partnership between Collingwood and Wright, Cricket Scotland chief executive Roddy Smith said: "If push comes to shove and there is a decision that has to be made, then it will be Paul's to make, but it is very much a partnership.

"Paul has not been a head coach before and is working his way into coaching while Craig is a Level 4-qualified coach and is very experienced.

"They worked together in the UAE and this is very much an agreeable way for them to go forward jointly. Kyle is very much part of the leadership group as well."

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