NOT every historic moment is accompanied by a commensurate backdrop.

Neil Lennon, famously, discovered he would be retained as Celtic’s permanent manager for a second spell while in the showers at Hampden.

Kyle Coetzer probably had somewhere more fitting than a gym car park in Texas in mind when he decided to step down as Scotland cricket captain but, as the Aberdonian himself concedes, the perfect timing and venue for making these kinds of announcements rarely arises. The car park would have to do.

After leading his country for 110 games, the trip to the United States for Cricket World League 2 fixtures with the hosts and the UAE would prove to be his last as captain.

Coetzer has been such a natural leader of the group for some time – over two spells – that it had felt inevitable that he would continue to steer the ship until retirement.

Instead the 38-year-old will just be another team player to provide support to new captain Richie Berrington when the Tri Series, part of the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2, starts against Namibia at Titwood, with games against Nepal later in the week.

“I knew within myself that I had to decide when it needed to happen,” he reflects. “I wanted to make sure that the team was in a position to move on in whatever direction they decide to go. I didn’t want to be a barrier to that.

“So I’m comfortable with my decision and excited to see how Richie takes the team on. The only memorable part of the announcement was that it took place in the car park outside of a gym in Texas! That wasn’t quite how I planned to do it but sometimes needs must.

“I had been thinking about it for a little while but felt there was still a big job to be done, especially in the 50-over competition. There’s never going to be a good time to step down and I just made the decision that I had held a lot on my shoulders for a long time. I wanted to carry on without some of that added pressure.

“I’m not going to say the off-field roles as captain are endless as they’re not. But Cricket Scotland has had some increased exposure with the success of the team and I’ve been keen to capitalise on that and keep pushing our name out there. I want everyone to believe that we belong as a top Associate nation and can mix it with the best when we play really well.

“But I wouldn’t say the captaincy has ever been a burden. Sometimes you felt tired dealing with that greater exposure, especially during the last World Cup. But I’ve always felt that I’ve played better as captain.”

Coetzer argues that leading the side does not automatically guarantee any player a starting place but there is no doubt that there will be greater pressure on the opener to make runs. The former Durham player, however, only has to look at Joe Root and England to see that the removal of the captaincy can provide fresh impetus.

“For me it’s the right decision to make as if I’m performing and doing what I’m supposed to do it will hopefully still get the best out of me,” he adds. “I don’t want to ever feel like I’m holding the team back.

“Someone like Joe Root was under a lot more scrutiny than I ever was and when things weren’t going well he got hammered from all angles. But he seems to be playing as well as ever without the captaincy – although he was still making runs even when England
weren’t winning.”

Like outgoing presidents
offering pardons while they still can, Coetzer brought himself on to bowl in his final game in charge against the UAE. His wicket was just his second in one-day internationals but helped erase an unwanted
record from his cricket CV.

“People used to always ask why I didn’t put myself on to bowl more often and maybe I’ve missed a few opportunities over the years,” he concedes.

“My average before I took that wicket was about 208 – and I was told that it was the second worst in the world! So getting that wicket has halved my average so I’m pretty happy about that.

“There were a few jokes about it from the boys but it was pretty serious to me. I don’t want to be the second worst in the world at anything. So I’ll certainly be having a few words with the new captain to see if he might throw the ball in these games coming up and see if I can take a few more!”