CHARLIE PEET wasn’t even born when Denmark took advantage of a late reprieve to win Euro 92 but the Scotland captain is hoping for a similar bounce for his own team over the coming weeks.  

The Saltires thought their under-19 50-over World Cup prospects had ended when they lost to Ireland in the Europe qualifying final back in September. Then came the surprise but very welcome news that there would be a route back into the tournament for them after all.

For Denmark 30 years ago it was the civil unrest in the former Yugoslavia and that country’s suspension from competitive football that got them off the beach and into the eight-team European Championships that they would then go on to win.

This time it is, perhaps not surprisingly, Covid-related reasons that have given the Scots a back-door entry to the tournament - that begins in the West Indies tomorrow - after New Zealand withdrew late last year on the grounds of quarantine restrictions that made it untenable for their squad to compete.

It may be a stretch to expect Gordon Drummond’s young side to make the most of their second chance and go all the way given they’ve been placed in a group alongside the hosts, Australia and Sri Lanka who they take on in their opening game in Guyana.

Given, though, they hadn’t expected to be there at all, Peet hopes he and the rest of the squad can make the most of the unexpected lifeline and see where it takes them.

“It was obviously a pretty big surprise for us to find out we’d qualified when we were all extremely disappointed with the way the qualifiers turned out,” said the 18 year-old.

“It was almost surreal when we were told and it didn’t really sink in for a while. But after that we got straight back into training and we had a good couple of tough months at the indoor centre.

“Our expectations now are to compete. We’re not here just to make up the numbers. We’re going to try to enjoy the experience and be the best versions of our ourselves that we can be.”

The senior men’s team made their mark on their own World Cup last autumn by winning their three first-round games against Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Oman.

That took Shane Burger’s side into the Super 12 stage for the first time and propelled the players to wider prominence for their achievements.

For youngsters like Peet it was the sort of encouragement that was needed ahead of their own World Cup journey, especially the performances of fellow left-arm spinner, Mark Watt.

 “The senior team are obviously a huge inspiration to us for what they did at the T20 World Cup,” he added.

“Quite a few of our guys play with and rub shoulders with the first team quite a lot. So to see them put in those sorts of performances against the best teams in the world gives us the inspiration to think that we can do the same.

“What Watty did at the World Cup was great. It was pretty amazing. And if I could enjoy as much success as he did then I’d be extremely happy.

“I think spin will play a big part in this tournament. We have quite a strong spin attack and I think it plays into our favour when the pitches here are like this.”

Edinburgh-based Peet plays his club cricket for Grange and credits Preston Mommsen – the former Scotland cap now operating as Grange’s lead batting coach – for helping shape him as a player and captain.

“He’s been really influential for me,” added Peet, one of five who played in the previous under-19 World Cup in South Africa at the start of 2020 before the pandemic descended.
“Preston was captain when I first started playing senior cricket and you could tell he was such a successful international captain. Quite a few of the things I’ve tried to implement captaincy-wise have been influenced by Preston. I learned a lot playing under him.”