27 January 2015
Calum Macleod: Pace bowler turned opening batsmen
It was 2009 and Calum Macleod was living the cricket dream; plying his trade as a fast bowler for his country on the world stage. But just four matches into a promising one-day international career, disaster struck for the then 20-year-old from Glasgow.
Calum MacLeod will be one of Scotland's key players at #cwc15
Remedial work followed, including sessions with former South Africa bowler Allan Donald, but Macleod was released by county team Warwickshire in 2010.
There are many players who, under the same circumstances, would have packed up their bat and ball and gone home. Not Macleod. He became an opening batsman.
His reinvention was the result of hours upon hours of toil before his triumphant return to the Scotland team – bat in hand – in June 2011.
“I had to figure out another way to get back into the game,” Macleod said. “Luckily I had some support from the coaches in Scotland at the time and they gave me an opportunity to work on my batting.
“It took two and a half years to completely try and reinvent myself and force my way back in. “It’s been a long journey so it’s great to think I’ll be walking out in a World Cup hopefully opening the batting for Scotland after what I had to go through to get here.”
Macleod played a crucial hand in helping Scotland qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 early last year, scoring two centuries during the qualifying tournament in New Zealand.
His performances included a thrilling 175 from 141 balls against Canada in Scotland – the second highest score by an Associate player in an ODI.
“It will be good to get out there again in New Zealand. We qualified for the World Cup there so we have great memories,” he said.
“I know everyone is just excited to get out there and get the competition underway and hopefully cause a few upsets.
“I think the games I’m looking forward to are obviously the game against New Zealand, which is going to be a great game in Dunedin, and I think playing Australia down at Hobart will also be great game.”
Playing in the World Cup has been a lifelong dream for Macleod, who remembers being at the 1999 tournament in England as a 10-year-old. One of my earliest memories was of the World Cup. My dad’s a photographer so I’d follow him around and watch Scotland,” Macleod said.
“We went and watched Australia play at Worcester in 1999 World Cup and I remember sitting side on wondering if I’d ever play like that. Obviously memories like that stick in your brain.
“I don’t think one word can possibly describe it all excitement (of playing in a World Cup) but it’s obviously an honour to represent your country in any sport."
Macleod has been exciting Scottish cricket fans for years, but many people may not know he has also stepped out on the field for their greatest rival.
When playing for Warwickshire, Macleod was called on as a sub-fielder for England on two occasions, against Australia in 2009 and against Pakistan in 2010.
“I was lucky enough to experience what it’s like at top level and had a chance to watch some of the best players close hand, ask questions and try to learn from them.”
This time, Macleod will be lining up against England, who will play Scotland at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval on February 23.
But it is cricket’s other powerhouses Macleod has tipped to challenge for the title.
“I’ve love to say Scotland will win. I think Australia and India are probably the favourites, obviously Australia are back in good form,” he said.
“I think New Zealand in their own backyard are always dangerous.”
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