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Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Sunday, 29 June 2008 17:26 UK

Watson supports Zimbabwean exile

Scotland captain Ryan Watson
Watson has mixed feelings having been born in Zimbabwe

Scotland captain Ryan Watson has added his voice to the calls for Zimbabwe to be banned from international cricket.

The Saltires, along with Ireland, could benefit if the ICC elect to cast the Zimbabweans into the wilderness.

Exclusion from the 2009 World Twenty20 in England could open up an extra place for the countries competing at August's qualification tournament in Belfast.

"So much the better if that happens. I think they need to take a stance," said Watson, who was raised in Harare.

Despite his support for a suspension, however, Watson has concerns over whether the move would have any real impact in the land of his birth.

"It's a hard subject for me to discuss because I hate what's going on there. But banning a team or banning a game of cricket, will that change the situation in Zimbabwe? The answer's probably no," Watson continued.

Top of his mind, though, is this week's Lloyds TSB Tri-Series in Aberdeen against Ireland and New Zealand, one which the hosts are viewing as an opportunity to pick up their first-ever victory over a Test playing nation.

The Black Caps, fresh off their victory over England in the NatWest series, should provide a much sterner test than short-handed Ireland.

However, with Celtic pride at stake, and the opportunity to measure their progress since last year's World Cup flop, Watson insists the Scots are determined to produce on both fronts.

"Obviously Ireland is a very important fixture for us. They're the team we measure ourselves against just now at Associate level," he said.

"But New Zealand is another opportunity for us to get ourselves a Test scalp. There's no pressure on us there.

"It's just a chance to see if we can pull something off and see what we can do."

Scotland's only doubt is over all-rounder Craig Wright, who has a back injury.

see also
Scots ready for Kiwis and Ireland
24 Jun 08 |  Scotland

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