RICHIE BERRINGTON could never be accused of hiding when times get tough. The new Scotland captain has been an ever-present in the T20 side going back to 2010, a 12-year stretch of consistency unmatched anywhere in world cricket.

The 35-year-old will line up for his country again this week as the World Cup gets underway in Australia. Scotland’s aim will be to emulate last year’s achievements by making it through the first round and into the Super 12 phase where the giants of the game – Australia, India, England and the rest – all lie in wait.

Without diminishing what the Saltires did when they made history a year ago, the challenge is even greater this time around, with three ICC full members in the West Indies, Ireland and Zimbabwe in a four-team group from which only two can proceed.

Few would expect Scotland to claim one of those berths given they are the lowest ranked of the quartet but Berrington remains bullishly optimistic ahead of tomorrow’s opener against the West Indies that gets underway at 5am UK time tomorrow.

“We’ve got good memories from the last World Cup and a lot of the guys in the squad were involved in that one,” said the all-rounder. “We can certainly draw on some of those experiences and hopefully take a lot of confidence from that going into these games.

“It should be a really exciting group because, while it’s us and three full member countries, anyone can beat anyone on their day.

“Getting out of the group would be a really positive step forward and hopefully from there we can take a lot of learnings from last year’s World Cup. That’s got to be our target.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have been involved with this team for a while now and to have the opportunities that I’ve had.

“Hopefully I can use a lot of that experience over the next few weeks and help the team. Any time you get this opportunity to play for Scotland it’s really special and it’s something you always look to make the most of. There’s an added responsibility as captain this time and it’s one that I’m extremely honoured to take on.”

Scotland had hoped to give themselves a better chance of competing against the better teams in the T20 arena by ensuring they arrived at this tournament as well prepared as they could possibly be. Instead they have played just three games in this format over 12 months, with the rest of the calendar having been filled with one-day internationals. Berrington concedes that is far from ideal but believes being exposed to regular cricket is the most important thing.

“There’s no doubt you would want to practice as much as you can in the format that you’re going to be playing in,” he said of the lack of T20I action. “But the good thing for us is that we’ve had a lot of cricket this year.

“Most of that has been one-day internationals but it’s been competitive cricket and a lot of pressurised situations. So, although we’ve not had as much T20 cricket as we would have liked, it’s good that we’ve had a lot of time out in the middle.

“Most of the group have been together before. And many of us are quite experienced. That’s something that ought to stand us in good stead. It’s a really good group and we’re pretty close. It’s important in these tournaments that you have that feeling. That will keep us in a good place.”

Scottish cricket’s reputation has taken a battering in recent months following the publication of an independent report that exposed the many flaws in the sport’s make-up. The restoration job will be long and hard but Berrington hoped the team could help by putting in performances to be proud of on the pitch.

“It’s certainly been a challenging time for the sport,” added the South African-born player. “As a playing group we want to do everything we can to make the positive changes that can help drive cricket forward.

“Our main job is on the field and inspiring a nation is something we speak about a lot. That’s certainly something we’ll be looking to do by putting in performances to make everyone back home proud.

“This is a great opportunity for us to go out and show that we can compete with some of the best. We’re very lucky to have a strong support back home which is something that motivates us to do well.

“But we’re also hoping that there will be a few Scottish fans out here in Hobart watching us. There were quite a lot watching us at the 2015 World Cup in Australia so it will be great to have some backing us in person again.”