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Cricket World Cup seen as chance to promote Scotland

THE head of Cricket Scotland is keen to promote sectors such as food and drink and tourism as part of the national team's participation in next year's World Cup.

Roddy Smith, chief executive at Cricket Scotland, also wants to step up the organisation's commercial activity ahead of the tournament in Australia and New Zealand and lay the groundwork for an increased playing programme in the years following the competition.

Mr Smith also pointed out the game's penetration in Asia, particularly in India, and believes the team has a great opportunity to further showcase Scotland's charms to a global audience. Around one fifth of the world's population is expected to watch some TV coverage of the tournament.

Mr Smith said: "The approach we are taking at the moment is we are keen to use our place in the World Cup to promote Scotland plc.

"We have held discussions with Event Scotland, Scotland Food & Drink and other national agencies. We see it not only as a great opportunity to promote cricket in Scotland but also to promote Scotland."

While Cricket Scotland has backers such as Tom Cross's oil firm Parkmead Group and insurer Royal London Mr Smith indicated they are looking at a wide range of commercial options in the run-up to the World Cup and beyond.

The tournament starts on February 14 next year and runs to March 29.

The Scottish team, which is ranked 13th in the world, have been drawn alongside England, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Mr Smith said: "We have a twin-track approach in terms of the commercial things like shirt sponsorship, branding on all sorts of kit, and using the Scotland team as a tool to promote businesses."

Mr Smith admitted planning on the commercial strategy is still at an early stage and Cricket Scotland is keen not to rule anything out. He said: "We see a huge opportunity in working with companies that are in Asia already or see that as a market they want to promote themselves in.

"There is a huge Scottish diaspora in Australia and New Zealand and commercially there are Scottish companies which are big in those markets and, equally, Australian and New Zealand companies which have a Scottish affiliation and would like to promote themselves back in the UK and round the world."

Mr Smith said there had been 400 corporate places sold for this week's one-day international match against England in Aberdeen and he hopes to meet with a number of the companies in attendance.

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