Cricket just got bigger in Scotland

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London, Nov. 14 (ANI): In a major boost to the cricketing culture in Scotland, a local cricket team that was on the verge of collapse seven years ago has been recognized by the Wisden Cricketer magazine.

The accolade, one of the most sought-after prizes in the sport, was awarded to the club to mark its remarkable transformation from a side that had only eight playing members to one of the most successful small clubs in the country, The Scotsman reports.

In an astonishing comeback, mirrored by the growth in popularity of the sport in Scotland, Kinross Cricket Club has fought its way back from cricketing oblivion to a club that now boasts 110 junior members, 84 seniors, 22 coaches and two women's sides.

John Ross, the chairman of Kinross Cricket Club, said: "Wisden are regarded as the authority for cricket. And the fact that little rural Kinross is now recognised worldwide as a quality club is fantastic. People don't think cricket's big in Scotland, but it really is hugely popular."

Kinross's victory also cast off doubts that cricket is not a popular sport in Scotland.

Earlier this year, Nationalist MSP Sandra White had claimed that there was no appetite for the game in Scotland and declared cricket had as little interest for Scots as curling had for the English.

Steve Paige, the head of community development for Cricket Scotland, said participation in cricket in Scotland had never been higher.

"We have just under 30,000 people playing cricket in Scotland. We had just over 18,000 young people go through our introductory programmes last year - a 10 per cent rise on the previous year," he said.

"The game is certainly growing. And it's down to a lot of the work that the volunteers are doing out on the field and the attraction of the different forms of the game that exist, including the quick cricket that the juniors play. Cricket is being played everywhere from the Borders up to Orkney. It is a national game," he added. (ANI)

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