THE year 2030 might feel like a lifetime away but it certainly means there’s plenty of time to plan and get organised.

The announcement recently by the International Cricket Council [ICC] that Scotland would co-host the T20 World Cup with England and Ireland in nine years was a timely shot in the arm for those who have been beating the drum regarding the sport’s profile following an encouraging showing at the tournament just concluded.

Among those shouting through the proverbial loudhailer has been Kyle Coetzer. The Saltires captain will have hung up his bat by then – at international level at least – but, given his passion for cricket, plans on still being involved in some capacity.

The Aberdonian wants Cricket Scotland to seize the moment and use the build-up to 2030 to put down proper roots and build the game.

“Getting the nod to co-host the T20 World Cup is pretty special news, in terms of thinking ahead and planning for the future,” said Coetzer.

“It’s organisation-changing really, an event like that which can give us a push in the right direction following all the good media and coverage we’ve had recently.

“It’s something we need to help push us on. It’s something we need to make sure we dive into head-first. We need to do it right and do it well.

“We’re in a very different time to where we have been after previous World Cup events. We’ve got a really positive following at Cricket Scotland and a lot of fans around the world who want to see Scotland developing.

“We’ve got a lot of neutral fans and you see it from all the messages and notes of support we get from around the world. It’s important we cash in now; we’ve got this event in 2030 and there’s no reason why we can’t push this organisation into a new era.”

Part of that would involve, ideally, fundraising to build a proper, lasting home. At the moment Scotland play most of their matches at Grange CC, while both indoor and outdoor training facilities are shared with Edinburgh schools. It is hard to project yourself to the world as an innovative, progressive organisation when you need to plan your schedule around the PE timetable.

“What about finding a home venue or building a home venue for this cricket team and organisation, to start basing ourselves out of?” asked Coetzer. “I think we could possibly be the only team in the top 20 who doesn’t have their own home venue.

“That’s where we need to go if I’m being honest. Let’s put things into perspective: we’ve just been playing against the world’s best and, no disrespect to where we’ve used, but we’re training on a school second team’s field which is uncovered.

“The school do a fantastic job for us but it’s time to start thinking bigger, thinking forward and how we can move things on to the next level. If we’re turning up to play against India in one of these world events, we want to be preparing as best as we possibly can.

“We can’t be leaving a school second team ground to go and play against the world’s best. The gap is just too great for us to improve.

“We need to be practising with more support around us. That means staff, whether that be in-house or on the field. We need to have better pitches; the better the pitches are, the more it encourages bowlers and batters to be better.

“If we want to compete against the best we need to have some of this. There’s no point being scared now. We’ve got this opportunity and we need to make the most of it. We probably need some support from wherever that can come from in Scotland.”

Cricket Scotland are hopeful of becoming the next nation to be welcomed in as an ICC full member, something that would bring substantial financial benefits. But in the meantime Coetzer wants them to find other ways to try to close the gap.

“We can’t compete consistently enough on the budgets we’re working from; we’ve done so much as an organisation, through men’s and women’s cricket, to grow and get the performances we need to reach the levels we have.

“We have to have further support and probably need the whole country to get behind it. We’re 14th in the world in T20 cricket and 13th in ODIs. That’s a pretty special effort considering what we work off and what we don’t currently have. Scottish cricket is a force to be reckoned with and we need to start backing it more.”