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Cricket: Josh Davey, the Scotland T20 World Cup wicket-taker and unlikely waving star

Scotland's Josh Davey celebrates after taking the wicket of Papua New Guinea's Norman Vanua during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup first round.
Scotland's Josh Davey celebrates after taking the wicket of Papua New Guinea's Norman Vanua during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup first round.

Scotland may wave goodbye to the T20 World Cup at the end of the week but for Josh Davey, waving has made him an unlikely social media star.

The Somerset bowler has seen a renaissance of his ‘Wavey Davey’ moniker during this tournament, a trend which was started by captain Kyle Coetzer at the 50-over World Cup six years ago.

The aim of the game is to get Davey, the leading wicket-taker for Scotland at this tournament, to wave at any number of random locations.

“Costa started doing that at the 2015 World Cup – I think it stemmed from someone in the crowd saying ‘Davey give us a wave’ and I said to the boys it was ridiculous,” he said.

“With his sense of humour, Costa was going to get me waving at every point on our trip, in different places. People have loved it and were calling for it to come back at this World Cup, so we decided to do it again.

“It’s a bit of fun to pass the time. It’s got a lot of love so I guess we’ll keep doing it. Kyle films it and I’m the star of the show.

“He does sometimes catch me off-guard and I’ll see him in the distance. It’s quite funny and he’s getting creative with it now.”

On the park, things have been going well for Davey on a personal level. The Scotland seamer has nine wickets in the World Cup so far, trailing only Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh) and Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka), who both have 11.

In the next week, he will come up against some of the world’s best batters, as Scotland face New Zealand on Wednesday, followed by India and Pakistan.

His colleague Brad Wheal spoke about just sticking to a gameplan, regardless of who is standing at the other end, and it seems to have served Davey well so far.

“I’ve just tried to keep things as simple as I can and play the percentages,” he said. “Coming off the back of the county season, I’ve developed some gameplans that have been fairly successful so I’m just trying to stick to those and take them to the next level.

“If I execute, they generally work. It didn’t work obviously against Afghanistan, but other than that I’ve bowled pretty well throughout the tournament so I’m pretty happy.

Scotland match-winners Richie Berrington and Josh Davey.
Scotland match-winners Richie Berrington and Josh Davey.

“Especially bowling at the death, you set your plans and you base it on execution. If you miss and it ends up going out the ground for six, you’ve missed, but you reset and go again.

“A yorker to any batter is a perfect batter. Unless they’re scooping or playing a high-risk shot, you generally don’t go for many runs.

“If you take that batter out of the equation and get that mindset in your head, you don’t run in thinking ‘if I miss here Virat Kohli will hit me for six’. You have to take it out your head and try execute as best you can.”

After coming into the Super 12 full of momentum, Scotland’s progress has been checked somewhat by back-to-back defeats to Afghanistan and Namibia.

They have had an extended break since their last game in Abu Dhabi, which has proved challenging given the bubble environment they operate in.

But it has given plenty of time to reflect and reset for the intense challenges they will face in the final games this week.

Scotland seamer Josh Davey took his tally of wickets for the tournament to eight.
Scotland seamer Josh Davey in action against Oman

“Both those games, we lost it by losing three wickets in an over. Because T20 is so short, you don’t have the time to rebuild and kick on as you can in a 50-over game or longer. But that’s what makes this format so great.

“It can pull the associate nations closer to the top-tier sides as someone can win it by themselves. Someone can have a day to remember. And that’s what makes it exciting as a format.

“We had belief coming into the last 12; there’s been a couple of disappointing results but I don’t think that belief has gone.

“When Twenty20 goes one way, it can go that way quickly. Especially against Afghanistan, we were trying to keep up with the rate and you end up going high-risk – It can look a lot worse than it actually is.

“We know we can do it because we’ve done it against Bangladesh. They are ranked sixth in the world, so we’ve shown we can do it against the top teams.

“We all need to stand up, know our roles, play smart cricket and hopefully we can come out on the right side of it. It’s going to be a very challenging three games for us.”

The Scotland cricket team and its Aberdeen core trying to create a legacy with their T20 World Cup exploits

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