A controversial question I know, but let’s looks at the facts:
- Cricket – Yesterday, Scotland beat a full strength England side, the number one ranked side in the World, in a One Day International in Edinburgh. The host team scored a record beating 371 runs before dismissing England for 365 with more than an over to spare.
- Rugby – In this year’s Six Nations, Scotland comfortably beat England 25-13, to secure a Calcutta Cup triumph and send Eddie Jones’s team into free-fall, a losing run that this weekend extended to 5 matches. In recent years Scotland’s rugby team has enjoyed a significant improvement in the team’s results including victories over Southern Hemisphere opposition and a near miss against the All Blacks, a team Scotland have not yet managed to beat.
- Football – The last time Scotland played England at football in a World Cup Qualifier for the 2018 World Cup, Scotland were a kick away from inflicting the only defeat on England during their qualifying campaign. A 93rd minute equaliser from the boot of Harry Kane kept England’s unbeaten record intact.
Add to the above the individual sporting success of the likes of Andy Murray and Sir Chris Hoy and a record medal tally for Scottish athletes at both the Rio Olympics and recent Commonwealth Games, and it is clear that, when it comes to sport, Scotland is enjoying a period of sustained success.
The achievements are also notable given the Scottish National Party’s recent announcement that it was looking to cut funding in Scottish Sport by up to 20% over the next couple of years following record investment during the previous funding round.
Sport has always played a strong role in Scottish Culture with Scotland being the birthplace of a number of sports such as golf, rugby sevens, cycling and waterpolo.
Obviously, some readers may point to the fact that this was Scotland’s first ever win against England in cricket, the first rugby success for 10 years and that Scotland hasn’t qualified for the football World Cup since 1998 but that would just be nit-picking…