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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 July, 2003, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
Scots women chase World Cup spot
Kari Anderson
Kari Anderson is Scotland captain at the age of 20
The performances of the Scottish Saltires in the National League have boosted cricket's profile north of the border.

And their example has inspired Scotland's Women, who are preparing for their biggest test since the national team came into being.

They will take on The Netherlands, Ireland, Pakistan, West Indies and Japan later this month with two places up for grabs at the next Women's World Cup in South Africa.

The scale of their task is illustrated by the fact that there is only one women's club side in Scotland - Watsonians Ladies.

It means, therefore, that captain Kari Anderson and other members of the national squad spend much of their time playing against men.

"We were involved in the European Championships two years ago and that was our first major competition, but so much more emphasis has been put on this," Anderson told the BBC Sport website.

21 July v Netherlands
22 July v Pakistan
23 July v West Indies
25 July v Japan
26 July v Ireland

"We know a bit about Ireland and Holland because we've played them before, but Pakistan, West Indies and Japan are unknown to us.

"If we get off to a good start, we've a good chance of qualifying, but we've got to play to our best.

"Everybody has a role to play. There's nobody that stands out - it's going to be a team effort. We've all got equal responsibility to do our own jobs on the day."

It is a similar approach which has enabled the Saltires to record wins over Durham, Somerset and Lancashire so far this summer.

"We've been along to watch them and have been able to pick up some tips - the guys are always open to questions if there's anything we want to ask.

"It must have been an incentive for them for everybody to write them off and it'll be an incentive for us too, but I'm sure we can come up with a few shocks ourselves.

"They haven't got many stars, apart from Rahul [Dravid]. We haven't got any but if we work together, we'll be fine," said Anderson.

The IWCC Trophy will be played in the Netherlands from 21-27 July, with Scotland taking on the hosts in their opening game.

Graham Thorpe
I'm a big fan of Graham Thorpe - I really admire his style
Kari Anderson

Anderson is buoyed, however, by Scotland's victory over the Dutch at last year's European under-21 Championships, a tournament in which she made 109 against Ireland.

"When we first formed we had a squad of 14 to 16 players, but now we have 25, so we're going in the right direction and cricket is starting to take off in schools.

"It is hard to prepare properly and we've been having to play matches against under-15 Scotland boys and county ladies teams in England.

"The opposition [in Holland] will be a bit of an unknown quantity, but they'll be thinking the same about us."

Anderson is keen to take her cricket career as far as possible and is contemplating the possibility of playing in New Zealand and Australia in the future.

"I'd also like to play in a World Cup - that would be fantastic," she said.

"Whether Scotland get there, we'll have to wait and see, but you can always hope."

Kari Anderson
"I class myself as an all-rounder - but I only bowl if we're desperate"

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