ANYONE looking to hold a barbecue in Edinburgh over the past fortnight needed only drag a finger down Cricket Scotland’s fixture list and plump for any other day.

There is always an element of risk attached to organising any kind of outdoor activity in this country but those in charge of scheduling cricket matches must feel they have been particularly unfortunate this summer.

Saturday was the latest case in point when, after a week of clear skies and warm sunshine, the rain returned over the Grange in the form of light but persistent showers. The umpires, perhaps optimistically, waited until 3.30pm before deciding no play would be possible in the first one-day international against Sri Lanka.

On the back of the two-game Afghanistan series that saw one game washed out and the other lost in a rain-reduced contest, it has been a fraught start to Shane Burger’s tenure as head coach. With the forecast looking more optimistic, however, they will try again today. Sri Lanka have travelled north looking for an upturn in fortunes ahead of the start of the World Cup next week but Scotland have plenty to prove too in what is their final meeting with a Full Member nation this year.

“It’s going to be a pretty hard game against Sri Lanka I’d imagine,” said batsman Craig Wallace. “They’ll be heading straight into the World Cup after this one, so will go at it pretty hard. Hopefully we’ll have enough to match them.

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“The Afghanistan game was really close but we couldn’t quite get over the line. So we know we need to play good cricket if we are going to win games like this.

“The bar has definitely been raised in the last year or two in terms of the expectations on us as a team.

“It’s quite exciting as a batter when you’re going out there with a target of making 300 plus every time. You’ve got to play your shots. There’s no time to be timid.”

Scotland have more fixtures against other Associate nations to look forward to later in the year against Oman, Papa New Guinea, United Arab Emirates and the USA as they start on the long journey to the next World Cup in 2023. With the T20 World Cup qualifier also looming, it has helped create a more complete calendar.

Wallace added: “We sat down two weeks ago and looked at the fixture list and for the first time I actually felt like an international cricketer. That was brilliant. It gives the guys a big lift as well.

“It’s nice to have this game against Sri Lanka, then a wee break, and then you’re already building towards the next set of fixtures. That’s really important.”