T20 World Cup 2022: 7 Associate Players to Watch

5 & 6. Mark Watt and Hamza Tahir, Scotland – Ages: 26

Hamza Tahir and Mark Watt
Scotland’s spin twins Hamza Tahir and Mark Watt (Photo: ICC)

Rocked by damning allegations of discrimination from former players and a report that identified 450 specific examples of institutional racism, Scottish cricket has plumbed the deaths of darkness lately. With a T20 World Cup around the corner, the international team will be hoping to put in some good results to salvage Scottish cricket’s battered reputation and give the home fans something to cheer about.

Leading the charge on the spin bowling front will be the left-arm orthodox duo of Mark Watt and Hamza Tahir. Affectionately dubbed the “spin twins” due to their same age and near identical bowling styles, both players possess highly effective records in white ball cricket. While Tahir only played a solitary game at last year’s World Cup, the unheralded Watt had a sensational tournament, picking up 7 wickets at an average of 26.28 and an economy rate of 6.13. Most memorable were his 100 km/h+ skiddy yorkers which took many a batter by surprise.

Although Scotland haven’t played much T20I cricket this year, both Watt and Tahir have been deployed together in a highly effective bowling partnership in recent ODI series against Namibia, Nepal, USA and UAE. Expect the combination to continue in the upcoming T20 World Cup!

Fun Fact: Tahir is the cousin brother of former Scottish international Majid Haq who is Scotland’s all-time leading wicket taker. He represented Scotland from 2002 to 2015 and played in two ODI and two T20 Cricket World Cups. It was Haq and teammate Qasim Sheikh’s allegations of discrimination, which helped inspire the independent review into racism within Scottish cricket.

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