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New Dartford Cricket Club recruit Scott McKechnie recalls the day he got the better of India legend MS Dhoni

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By Henry Clark

Former Hong Kong international cricketer Scott McKechnie is looking forward to playing for newly-promoted Dartford after his return to the UK.

The wicketkeeper-batter is no stranger to the Kent League, having been an integral part of Hartley’s Premier League dominance.

Former Hong Kong international Scott McKechnie has joined Dartford Cricket Club after returning to the UK
Former Hong Kong international Scott McKechnie has joined Dartford Cricket Club after returning to the UK

After a stint abroad coaching and playing in first Hong Kong and then Singapore, McKechnie decided Hesketh Park was the place to do the same in 2022.

He said: “I spoke to 1st XI captain John Smyth and it was clear to me that Dartford is on a steep, upwards trajectory.

“They had an amazing year last year and it seems there is an ambitious, winning culture.

“I want to be part of a club building for the future and I got that feel from everyone involved at Dartford.”

McKechnie grew up playing his cricket for New Ash Green and, by the age of 16, he was already representing Kent’s 2nd XI.

After finding opportunities at the county limited, he spent several years trialling for other counties before joining the MCC Young Cricketers scheme.

The 30-year-old “fell in love” with Hong Kong after a winter posting while on the programme and decided to move there full-time to take up a role with The Hong Kong Cricket Club.

After seven years, McKechnie moved on to become director of cricket at The Singapore Cricket Club in 2019.

McKechnie said: “During that time, I played a bit of international cricket for Hong Kong with some amazing experiences at ICC events, World Cup qualifiers and the Asia Cup.

“I’ll forever look back on playing against India and Pakistan in international one-day cricket with big crowds as really special days.”

When asked for a stand-out highlight from those experiences, one moment in particular comes to mind for McKechnie.

“Not dropping Indian cricket legend MS Dhoni when he edged behind on nought would probably be up there,” he said.

“If there’s one guy you don’t want to drop on nought, it’s him!

"India were pretty much full strength that day, minus Virat Kohli, so that was a pretty special opportunity.”

With his business taking off and travel restrictions limiting the time he could spend with family during the pandemic, McKechnie and his wife decided to settle permanently back in the UK at the end of 2021.

Hartley’s recent demise left him on the lookout for a new club to call home.

The opportunity to play with his younger brother Ritchie, a 1st XI regular for the Darts last season in their promotion-winning campaign, helped persuade him to join Dartford who return to Division 1 for the first time since 2018.

“I’ve been told a statistic that suggests at 30-years-old I’m going to be one of the oldest guys in the 1st XI by some way,” McKechnie joked.

“I’m coming to the club to add value wherever I’m needed; if there’s youngsters who can fulfil a role then I think they should get that opportunity ahead of myself.

“Hopefully I can share some of my learnings with this young group and help get this side up into the Premier League again.”

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