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Scotland welcome chance to Test themselves at top level

ANDY TENNANT, the head of performance at Cricket Scotland, last night welcomed the International Cricket Council's decision to offer a Test-playing chance to the leading associate member nation.

The governing body announced at the weekend that the winners of the next Intercontinental Cup will play the lowest-ranked Full Member for the right to participate at cricket's highest level.

Tennant believes that the news is another major boost for the game in this country, coming just days after the Scots qualified for next year's World Cup by winning the qualifying competition in New Zealand.

"Test cricket is still seen as the pinnacle of the sport and to have the chance to play on that stage is fantastic," he said. "Our guys - the established ones and young players coming through the system - can look at this news and know they have a realistic chance of playing Test matches in four years. It's an exciting development."

Scotland won the inaugural Intercontinental Cup - it is contested by all the associate members - in 2004 and have since reached another final, as well as finishing third in the most recent tournament.

Ireland have won it four times, with Afghanistan the only other country to lift the ICC's flagship four-day competition for non-Test countries. The next competition will run throughout 2015 and 2016.

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