Chris Sole has been to the same amount of World Cups as his dad but their experiences could hardly be more disparate. While David was part of the Scotland squad that appeared at rugby’s inaugural global jamboree in 1987 then captained the group at the following edition in 1991, his son has endured something of a rougher ride.

Picked as a travelling reserve for the 2021 T20 World Cup, an injury denied him the chance to replace Josh Davey when his fellow quick picked up a knock. Selected in the full squad from the start a year later, Sole was not called upon for any of Scotland’s three group games.

With sporting excellence a theme running through the family – siblings Tom, Gemma and Jamie have all gained international recognition in different pursuits – Sole admits the chance to emulate his dad’s achievements is something that continues to serve as motivation.

The 29 year-old is with the Scotland squad in Zimbabwe for the World Cup qualifier that starts for Scotland on Wednesday against Ireland, and hopes opportunity will once more knock for him.

“There’s a sense of pride in trying to follow in my dad’s footsteps,” he admits. “It almost brings an extra bit of competition. I’ve heard stories in the past about how much my dad loved playing in these big tournaments so I’d love to do the same to have similar stories to tell in the future.

“It always helps with the mindset on how to approach these tournaments and make sure you don’t overlook things. You need to try to get lost in the moment and enjoy the good times on these trips in amazing parts of the world, taking on amazing opposition and enjoying the challenges of it.

“We go into these tournaments always looking to qualify and you have to win a lot of games of cricket to do that. And in this tournament

especially there are a few Test-playing nations that we’ll need to knock off. We’ll need to perform well across the whole tournament but it would be right up there for me if we could qualify.”

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Another personal target is to try to overhaul his dad’s total of 44 Scotland caps, with Sole Jr sitting on a combined 31 one-day and T20I appearances.

“One thing in the back of my mind is to try to beat him on international caps if I can,” he added. “I’d love to have more caps than he did by the time that I retire but I’ll have to stay on the pitch and in one piece to give me a better advantage of catching up.”

The cricketing gene, however, comes from mum Jane’s side of the family.

“My Uncle Chris, who I’m named after, was at Gloucester and played county cricket down there,” Sole says. “He’s only given me one bit of advice ever, even though we’ve spoken about cricket quite a bit over the years: try to bowl as fast as you can! So I’ve tried to do that throughout my career. I’ve picked up a few injuries along the way because of that but he always tells me it’s good that I’m still trying to bowl as fast as I can.”

Scotland will be underdogs at a tournament where only two of the 10 teams qualify for the World Cup in India. But Sole believes the frenetic nature of Associate cricket means they are well prepared for the challenges ahead.

“This format almost suits us and gives us a bit of an advantage,” said the fast bowler. “All our tours are always really condensed with back-to-back games with just little breaks in between. Every game we play has something on the line, whether it’s looking for points for qualification or trying to win qualifying games.

“So playing a game that always means something is not a new thing for us. I know there are other big teams who won’t be used to this style of tournament and these dense fixture periods.

“It would be a very highly regarded achievement if we were able to qualify from this one given the fixture list and the opposition we’re going to be playing against.

“That certainty doesn’t take it out of the realm of the possible for us. It’s certainly something a few of the fans reckon we can still achieve. If you can get a few early wins and guys start to score runs and take wickets then you can keep the juggernaut rolling.”