Scotland have appointed Doug Watson as their interim head coach, following Shane Burger's exit. Burger, who was in charge of Scotland during their last two T20 World Cups leaves to take up a role with English county Somerset. Burger also most recently led Scotland to the Cricket World Cup League 2 title, which has secured the team an automatic spot in the ODI World Cup Qualifier, scheduled to be played in Zimbabwe later this year.
Watson, who is the Head Coach of Male Performance with the Auckland Aces will begin his new role with Scotland from April 8 and will be contracted with the side till July 31.
During this period Scotland will play in the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe and in the 2024 World T20 Europe Qualifiers, which are being held this July in Edinburgh.
“Firstly, I’m really thankful to everyone at the Auckland Aces for allowing me to pursue this opportunity with Cricket Scotland,” Watson said.
“It’s a wonderful chance for me to coach another country, and Scotland’s Men have been doing really well over the last four years. I’m looking forward to carrying on and develop the great work that Shane Burger has put in here. I know Shane well, he’s worked really hard to help get Scotland to where they are, and it was great to see them lift the CWCL2 trophy two weeks ago in Nepal.
“I know it’s obviously a short period of time that I’ll be in charge, but there’s two massive tournaments coming up which will be tough for us, especially the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe in June. But it’s also an exciting time as well - I’m looking forward to it and it’s going to be fun.”
Watson brings with him vast experience both as a player and coach. He was Kwa-Zulu Natal's most-capped player and at the international level, he has represented South Africa A.
He was previously the head coach of Namibia between 2012 and 2015, has worked with the Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Wellington Firebirds in New Zealand, and served as Head Coach of Kwa-Zulu Natal Inland.
Most recently, Watson stepped up as the batting coach of the New Zealand Test side for their series against England. “I’m delighted to welcome Doug to Cricket Scotland.” Interim Head of Performance, Toby Bailey, said.
“We conducted a very thorough hiring process and looked at around forty-five candidates. We wanted someone who’d been previously involved with coaching smaller teams, with Associate Cricket, with experience of World Cup Qualifying competitions, with knowledge of top-level cricket, and with experience of Zimbabwe.
“Doug really fits the bill in all those cases. We had some of the Men’s players on the interview panel, which I think was important for them to be involved with, so that they had some buy-in as to who will be coaching them for the next four months.
“The Auckland Aces have a very good coaching system, and a testament to that is Doug’s recent involvement with the Black Caps in the series against England. “We look forward to him starting work with us in April.”