The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Burger sees bright side

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- BY CALLUM LAW

Shane Burger believes the Scotland cricket team will return to action stronger than ever.

Cricket like just about every sport has been shut down due to the coronaviru­s pandemic.

Scotland games scheduled for April have been postponed and the Saltires have had to stop training together.

Head coach Burger agrees with those decisions to try to limit the spread of Covid-19 and says when they do return it will be with plenty of enthusiasm.

The South African said: “We’ve had to cancel training and contact as a group but with technology we can still keep in touch with all the players.

“That’s what myself and the management have been trying to do.

“We’ve tried to keep in touch with them on a one-to-one basis so that they understand the situation and what the next few weeks could hold.

“We’re also fully aware the players are not earning huge amounts of money so they could be under financial pressures like many people at this time.

“We’re trying to take some positives from the situation.

“We hope the players enjoy the time they get to spend with friends and families.

“We all need to be compassion­ate and look after ourselves and the people around us.

“It’s an important time for the world in my view. The world may be cleansing itself and we all need to take a look at how we are living.

“We need to use this period as one to reflect and use that to our advantage going forward.

“The one thing I can’t fault with the players and staff we have is the hunger and enthusiasm to play cricket to the best possible level and do their country proud.

“I’ve never seen anybody take a step back on that front and this break might make people realise why they took up the game in the first place.

“Trying to take positives – we hope they enjoy the time with their families”

“You want to be out there batting or bowling in front of thousands of fans against the likes of New Zealand and Australia.

“When we come back we’ll press the reset button and look to move forward from there when we come back.”

Scotland were supposed to play in four Cricket World Cup League Two matches in April against the US and UAE in the States before travelling to Namibia for four fixtures against the African side and Nepal.

Burger admits it has been strange seeing those games wiped and believes it’s important to keep the players motivated during the fallow period ahead.

He added: “It is a strange time for sport and for cricket. Every player and coach trains with some sort of target in mind.

“In high level sport you’re trying to make sure you get better and progress every day.

“With the opportunit­ies and amount of cricket we had scheduled this year the lads were really excited to tackle 2020 and the games we had.

“We set some high goals and objectives for the year.

“The US series and Namibia series have been postponed but the good thing is they will be rearranged, they haven’t been cancelled.

“The players still have the opportunit­y to play those eight games.

“As coaching staff and management it’s important we keep the players motivated and with a sense of purpose at this time.”

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