International honours

Cricket ball
Cricket ball

As blizzards and bitingly cold winds decimated last weekend’s sporting programme,a pair of young Clydesdale cricketers bade farewell to the big freeze and headed for the heat and humidity of an altogether different climate - Sri Lanka - for a pre-season tour.

The fortunate 18-year-olds, Lyle Hill and Haris Chaudhry, are members of Scotland’s U19 squad, preparing to take part in the under-19 World Cup qualifying tournament to be staged in the Netherlands later this year, in August.

Both lads are long-term products of the Clydesdale youth policy, having been identified from the age of 10 as potential international prospects.

All-rounder Lyle Hill - who attends Glasgow Academy - also has credentials as a captain, having led Scotland’s U15 team to victory in the European age-group championship three years ago.

Haris Chaudhry, tall, slim and outstandingly penetrating and accurate as a fast bowler, is a Hutchesons’ Grammar School pupil who has also developed strongly as a batsman.

Now comes their biggest test so far - trying to cope with the alien cricketing conditions posed by the Sri Lankan climate.

Their coach is former Scotland captain Craig Wright, who skippered the national side in the senior World Cup in the West Indies in 2007.

“To experience the heat and humidity in Sri Lanka will be invaluable for the players,” he said. “Learning how to prepare and manage themselves, and also how to deal with the physical and mental challenges, is what this tour is all about.

“The quality of the opposition is always guaranteed in the sub-continent, such is the passion for cricket in that part of the world. Batting and bowling on different types of surfaces is also a fantastic learning experience for our players.”