RICHIE BERRINGTON could be forgiven if the full force of the global pandemic somehow passed him by.

The Scotland all-rounder became a father for the first time last year and, like all new parents, spent a large chunk of the subsequent months in a fug of perpetual tiredness.

“My partner and I had our first child, a boy called Oliver, last year,” he revealed. “So that was a bit of a strange experience having a baby in lockdown.

“But in a way it worked out well as I was home a lot more than I might have been and we got to spend a lot of time together as a family. It actually helped get you through everything because when you have a new baby it’s just all-consuming and you don’t tend to notice the outside world as much!”

The 34 year-old would ordinarily have been trotting the globe for most of 2020 but instead Scotland found themselves staring at a rare blank international calendar for the duration of the year.  

Fortunately, that long wait for action will soon be over with two one-day internationals set to take place away to the Netherlands on May 19 and 21.

Having been placed on furlough for most of the past year, the team only recently got back together again for full training and Berrington admits that moment was draped in a blanket of comforting familiarity.

“You just pick up as if you’ve never been away with the usual banter flying around,” said the ICC Associate Player of the Decade nominee.

“It was just good to see everyone in person again, get the energy back again. And slagging everyone’s haircuts and clothes like before!

“It was obviously a tough period last year with not getting the chance to play any matches.

“But the key was to make sure we kept our fitness up as much as we can and the lads have done a pretty good job of that.

“We knew once we got back into it we would probably have games coming up and thankfully we’ve got these two ODIs against the Netherlands and we’re looking forward to those.

“We’re more optimistic now. We’ve had some indoor sessions and now we’re training outdoors again. It just whets the appetite for getting back into a match situation.”

At 34 years old, Berrington is in the latter stages of an international career that stretches back to a first cap gained in 2008.

But even as lockdown dragged on longer and longer, the South African-born player insists retirement never entered his thoughts.

“Last year there was a real mix of emotions at not getting to play any games,” he admits. “There was definitely some frustration when it looked like we were building up towards something and then more restrictions would come in and plans would be shelved.  

“But it never crossed my mind to call it a day. It was just about waiting for the chance to get going again.

“Obviously, I would have liked it have come sooner but there wasn’t really anything anyone could do about that. But I feel hungry now and keen to get back out there.

“It will be a challenge having not played in a while but we can draw on past experiences when we’ve maybe not played a lot of cricket and gone straight into a series or a big tournament.”

India is going through a fairly horrendous time with the virus right now but the hope is the country will be in a better place to host the T20 World Cup come October.

Berrington was in the Scotland squad that competed in the same tournament on the sub-continent in 2016 and is eagerly anticipating a return.

“It’s hard to believe it’s now five years since the last one there which was a great experience.

“I remember being frustrated that we missed out on making it out of the pool. We had a tough game against Zimbabwe but still felt we should have got over the line with that one.

“After that, the first step was to get our first-ever World Cup win and we did that by beating Hong Kong so it was good to tick that one off.

“It will be great to get back and hopefully we can make it to the next stage this time.

“For any player that’s where you want to be, playing against the best. All being well we’ll have that to look forward to at the end of the year.”