SCOTLAND spinner Mark Watt is keeping his fingers crossed for better weather today after spending much of Wednesday playing cards and football instead of cricket.

Not a single ball was bowled in the first scheduled one-day international of the summer against Afghanistan as heavy wind and wintry conditions in Edinburgh made play impossible. The forecast looks more favourable for this morning and Watt is hoping to finally get Scotland’s home campaign up and running.

The Derbyshire player said: “We only have four home games this summer [against full member sides] as it stands so it is just disappointing that the weather got hold of the first one. We are just champing at the bit to play against a Test nation.

“Days like Wednesday are frustrating. It’s just a lot of hanging about, a lot of cards and a lot of football, although you have to stay switched on just in case the weather improves and you need to get out there. Days like that are tough

for everyone, especially the crowd. We ramped up training today and hopefully we can get out there tomorrow.

“We only met up on Tuesday but this squad is really tight-knit and has a great bond. There is plenty of banter in the changing room so we don’t need to come together a week before games to click. We won’t have a lot

of prep together but that is fine for us.”

Afghanistan are one of the dark horses for the World Cup that begins in England at the end of the month. They were joined at training yesterday by Mujeeb ul Rahman, the 18- year-old bowler arriving fresh from playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and who could feature at the Grange today. New ODI captain Gulbadin Naib is still without leg spinner Rashid Khan and all-rounder Mohammad Nabi, who have also been playing in the IPL, although quick bowler Hamid Hassan is set to play his first ODI for three years.

Watt expects a difficult challenge but feels they could hold their own.

“They will take the game to us, we expect that from all teams. But we will also take it to them. We will fight back hard. We have a batting line-up that is strong up top, strong in the middle and have guys at the end who can whack it as well so we will take it to them on a flat Grange wicket.”

The 22-year-old believes his game has improved playing in England.

“Derby has been good for me. It is a lot harder than playing club cricket here, so it is a good challenge. I have learnt a lot already and tested myself, but now I can’t wait to pull on the blue jersey again for Scotland.”

Meanwhile, Aberdeen’s Mannofield ground will host the first series of the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 in August. Scotland, Papa New Guinea and Oman will play each other in a round-robin format, before the Scots head to the UAE for a series with the hosts and the USA.