Haq named as new Clydesdale captain

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Scottish cricket’s international all-rounder Majid Haq has 160 caps under his belt and is now the most experienced player in the squad after 10 years playing for his country.

The Paisley-born left-handed batsman with exquisite timing and off-spin bowler with an unusual action made his senior debut by taking four wickets against Durham in 2003.

The 29-year-old full-time Scotland player has scored 1,850 runs and taken 196 wickets for Scotland. Always the first to be inked in to any team selection, he is everyone’s favourite to become the most-capped Scottish cricketer of all time at some stage in the next two or three years.

But season 2013 will also see him in a completely unfamiliar role — captaining one of the top teams in Scotland, Titwood-based Clydesdale, which he joined only three years ago.

“My priorities are to bring some silverware to the club - the league and especially the Scottish Cup, which the club has not won for 25 years. I’m also looking to bring through some young players into the first team”.

But how will he manage all this while also being in great demand by Scotland in a busy international year?

“It will be tough, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. Having a close support network will be important”.

Clydesdale has been in the top three teams in its league for the past few years, but there is a general feeling that the club has under-performed.

“We haven’t trained hard enough over the whole season, and there‘s been a general lack of discipline,” he says. “We’ve been inconsistent in our performances, but with more training and with players in the second team pushing for promotion, there will be more pressure on the first team players to perform”.

At international level, despite the appalling weather of last summer, Haq had some superb successes during the 2012 season.

“The team highlights were beating Bangladesh and Canada. Personal highlights were finishing highest wicket taker in the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers in Dubai in March and being selected in the Associate XI against England in a ‘unofficial’ Test match a year ago”.

In 2013, there are extra matches being arranged against Australia and Pakistan, as well as a string of important ICC ODIs and I-Cup matches... how will Scotland fare?

“Next season is a massive one for Scotland as there is a great chance of qualifying for two World Cups. I’m very hopeful we can, but it depends on how we handle the pressure situations. We need to keep players fit and we need to get the tactics right”.