Having scaled their own cricketing mountain in Nepal last year, Scotland now have to try to do it all over again.

Winning World Cricket League 2 confirmed the Saltires’ place in the one-day World Cup global qualifier in which they came agonisingly close to reaching the main event itself, won by Australia in India in the autumn.

Beyond that there was no real tangible reward for Scotland beyond a shiny trophy and a sense of achievement, with no promotion on offer or any promise of more meaningful fixtures against the bigger nations.

The demands of another three-year slog around Associate cricket’s eclectic outposts – Namibia, Oman and the Netherlands are all on the itinerary this time around – had prompted George Munsey to wonder in these pages whether he and some of his team-mates would have the heart and stomach to go through it all again.

Given the lack of alternatives, however, the opening batter has signed up once more for a campaign that begins tomorrow in the UAE, with a pair of one-day matches against the hosts and the same against newcomers to the group, Canada.

With the number of teams growing from seven to eight, the task to finish top again will be even greater but there is an enthusiasm evident in the Scotland camp that stems from being back playing cricket together again for the first time since July.

“The guys are really excited to be out here and looking forward to getting started again,” said captain Richie Berrington. “We’ve had a good lead-in with a six-week training block back in Edinburgh and then being back outdoors again here has been great after a long lay-off.

“Not having any fixtures has been one of the challenges of the past six months. But the squad know each other pretty well and when we get back together again we know what we’re about. After such a long time off it’s just good to be back in this environment again and looking forward to the matches ahead.

“For us World Cricket League has been great. We won it the last time and the challenge now will be to try to do that again. The competition is even stronger this time around with the Netherlands coming back into the mix.

“We see that as an opportunity [rather than a burden] knowing we’ve got that ahead of us over the next couple of years. And with the T20 World Cup just around the corner in June there’s a lot of motivation there.

“The landscape is ever-changing and you never know what will come at the end of this campaign but for now it’s just about trying to win as many games as we can for Scotland.”

There are some changes among the familiar. Stevie Gilmour has signed up as interim head coach pending a permanent appointment having been a part of the backroom team of both Shane Burger and Doug Watson, while there are new players, too, in the shape of Scott Currie, Charlie Tear and James Dickinson. Andy Umeed also returns to the squad for the first time in almost a decade, while Chris Sole was a late withdrawal due to injury.

“It’s been great to have some new guys come into the squad or who haven’t been around the squad for a while,” added Berrington. “They’ve been a good fit into the environment and there’s a good balance to the squad now.

“Stevie’s been great. He’s done work with the squad previously in different roles and it’s been brillaint to have him come in. As a squad and staff we’re just keen to put into practise the things we’ve been working on over the last few weeks.”

Gilmour was of a similar mind as he minds the shop ahead of a more permanent appointment.

“I’ve been involved with the team now for a while in other roles so I’m quite used to the environment,” he said. “For me it’s about getting the players into a good space mentally just to go out and perform and play to their strengths.

“The guys are used to [not always having a run of regular fixtures] as it happens a lot within Associate cricket. But we’ve had a good few training sessions and games leading into this opening match against Canada.

“The plan is to try to win World Cricket League 2 again if we can. That’s the goal at the start of every campaign so that’s what we’ll be aiming for.”

Scotland will stay in Dubai after the end of their 50-over commitments to play three T20Is against UAE with the start of the World Cup just three months away.

“We’ve got that in the back of our minds,” confirmed Berrington. “It’s not that far away now so it’s great that we’ve got some T20s at the back of this to allow us to look ahead to how we’re going to go about things at the World Cup.”