(With thanks to Cricket Scotland for this photograph.)
All roads will soon be leading to Leeds for 18-year-old Charlie Peet, but for now he is in Spain as skipper of the Scotland Under-19 cricket team that are looking to qualify for a World Cup.
The spinning all-rounder, who plays his club cricket for Grange and left Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools after S6 in the summer, has been given the honour of captaining his country in the World Cup Europe qualifier which is being played at the Desert Spring Resort in Almeria this week.
The squad includes five players - Peet, Jamie Cairns, Sean Fischer-Keogh, Tom Mackintosh and Lyle Robertson - who played in the 2020 under-19 World Cup in South Africa.
Scotland started the week really well with an eight wicket win over Jersey on Monday. Peet took 2-14 from his 10 overs - including four maidens - opening the bowling as Jersey were bowled out for 107, then Gabriel Gallman-Findlay made 59 not out with the bat to get the Scots home.
They have tougher tests against the Netherlands and Ireland in the group stages to come with the top two teams progressing to the final.
The overall winner of the tournament will go directly into the age-grade World Cup in the West Indies in 2022.
Peet, who will begin studying for a degree at the University of Leeds next month, said: “We know there will be some tough matches in this qualifying event, but we have faith in the squad that we can deliver results and then back them up so I am very much looking forward to leading this group of players.
“It helps that a few of us were at the last World Cup in South Africa just before the pandemic came last year because we are a bit more experienced now in tournament play and the way it ebbs and flows, but this is a new squad and we are only focusing on this week for now.
“I think the great thing about the group of players that we have is that some of the younger ones have come in and really shown their quality in training and in warm-up matches. They have also brought new ideas to the table which has made us stronger and feeling more confident as a unit.
“With such a tight turnaround between matches and only one team going through it really is high stakes cricket in Spain, but the Coaches Gordon Drummond and Cedric English have prepared us very well and now we just have to go out and do it on the pitch.”
SMC Head of Cricket Joss Beharrell said: “Charlie is clearly a very talented young cricketer. His unorthodox bowling action poses a real threat to batsmen and his economy rate is a real asset, particularly in limited over cricket.
“His batting has developed well over the last couple of years and his scores in school and club cricket over the summer certainly reflects this.
As a captain, Charlie reads the game very well and he has clearly drawn on the experience of playing at a high level for Grange in the Eastern Premier Division and for the Eastern Knights in the Pro Series.
With that, the experience of having a World Cup already under his belt will be a huge benefit to the team. He is a role model for our younger cricketers here at SMC and we wish him all the best for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The cricket programme at SMC caters for over 400 boys from P4 through to S6.
“It is one of the two major sports we offer in the summer term though we run the programme year-round with off-season training starting from September,” Beharrell explains.
Dewald Nel, former Scotland, Kent and Worcestershire player, started with us this year as the new cricket professional, so the boys are incredibly lucky to benefit from his coaching expertise and knowledge of the game as well as from the other staff involved in the programme.
“We regularly see boys go through the pathway system from Eastern Knights onto Scotland age-group teams.”
Scotland under-19 fixtures this week:
September 20: Scotland v Jersey won by eight wickets
September 21: Scotland v The Netherlands
September 23: Scotland v Ireland
September 25: Final
Article by Gary Heatly