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Aberdeenshire youngster Aayush Dasmahapatra named in Scotland squad for under-19 Cricket World Cup

Aberdeenshire's Aayush Dasmahapatra has been called up to the Scotland under-19 squad
Aberdeenshire's Aayush Dasmahapatra has been called up to the Scotland under-19 squad

Aberdeenshire youngster Aayush Dasmahapatra has been called up to the Scotland squad for the under-19 Cricket World Cup next month.

All-rounder Dasmahapatra has had an impressive season with Shire and has been included in a 15-man pool to travel to the West Indies.

Scotland originally missed out on qualification for the tournament, when they lost out to Ireland for the last place in September.

However the withdrawal of New Zealand due to Covid travel restrictions has given the young Scots a reprieve and they will play in Group D against the host nation, Australia and Sri Lanka.

Dasmahapatra scored 239 runs this season for Shire in the North-East Championship, with half-centuries against Kinloch and Strathmore. He averaged just under 40 with the bat from eight innings and also chipped in with three wickets.

His club captain Kenny Reid is delighted for his team-mate to get the call.

Aberdeenshire captain Kenny Reid bats with Aayush Dasmahapatra
Aberdeenshire captain Kenny Reid bats with Aayush Dasmahapatra

He said: “He’s a quality player and it’s great news for him and the club. He played all his junior cricket with us and I remember coaching him with Neil MacRae when he came along 10-11 years ago as a young lad.

“He had natural talent then and to see him develop that and progress through the years has been exceptional. To see how hard he has worked, the progression in his game has been unbelievable.

“If we can use him as a role model for our junior boys and girls as to what can happen if you work hard and listen to the coaches, that would be great.”

Dasmahapatra, who had a brief spell at Gordonians before returning to Mannofield, tends to open the batting for Shire and bowls leg-spin, with Reid seeing him as a “genuine all-rounder”.

He added: “He just enjoys being in the game, whether bowling or batting. He loves being involved in the fight.

“If he needs to knuckle down with the bat, he will do that. If someone comes after him when he’s bowling, he enjoys the challenge of that too.”

Aayush Dasmahapatra will fly out to the West Indies with the Scotland under-19 squad next month
Aayush Dasmahapatra will fly out to the West Indies with the Scotland under-19 squad next month

Scotland play their first game in Guyana against Sri Lanka on January 14, before facing the Windies in Saint Kitts and Nevis three days later. Their final group game is also in Saint Kitts against Australia on January 19.

Reid revealed he was in contact with Dasmahapatra last week asking if he had heard anything about selection for the tournament.

He said: “I had seen other squads being announced and asked if there was any news on the Scotland squad. He said he didn’t know but he’s told me just now he did but couldn’t say anything.

“I phoned him after the announcement to congratulate him and he seems buzzing to be in the squad.”

There is also a place on the non-travelling reserve list for another north-east representative.

Stoneywood Dyce bowler Jack Lambley is on a list of five players to back-up the main squad, should there be any drop-outs. He took 27 wickets in all competitions for the People’s Park side this season.

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