Friday, December 9, 2022

Cricket Scotland: Calum MacLeod announces retirement from international cricket

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Calum MacLeod has announced his retirement from playing international cricket for Scotland after a fantastic career.

The 33-year-old has played for his country 229 times in all formats since he made his debut back in 2007 and he brings the curtain down on this chapter in his life having represented Scotland at an amazing five full World Cups and one under-19 World Cup.

Calum played in one 50-over World Cup in 2015 in Australia and New Zealand and four T20 World Cups in 2009 in England, 2016 in India, 2021 in Oman and the UAE and 2022 in Australia, these coming all came after his involvement at the under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka in 2006.

He played in 88 One Day Internationals for Scotland between 2008 and 2022, scoring 3,026 runs and taking 11 wickets.

Out of those runs, he made 10 centuries and 13 50s, including 175 against Canada in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2014, 157 not out in Bulawayo in Zimbabwe against Afghanistan in 2018 and 140 not out versus England at The Grange, Edinburgh, in 2018.

His highest score with the bat in T20 internationals was 74 against Bermuda in Dubai in 2019 while his six other half centuries in the format came versus the Netherlands (twice), Kenya, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Ireland. However, for Scottish fans, his unbeaten 140 versus England at the Grange in 2018 will go down as one of the greatest batting performances in the history of Scottish cricket.

Reflecting on his decision, MacLeod said: “Having announced my retirement to the team a few days ago, I’m sitting here thinking back to what inspired me in the first place and that would be the Scotland versus Australia game at the 1999 World Cup.

“I remember watching that and thinking ‘that is what I want to do’ and it lit a fire inside me to go on and do everything I could to play for Scotland.

“So, to fast forward to now as I step back having played in five World Cups, I think if you’d told me way back then what I’d go on to achieve with my country, I wouldn’t have believed you.

“Finishing after this World Cup in Australia has been tough because we didn’t manage to achieve what we wanted to achieve, but I leave the group with a real sense of hope that, with the right backing and the right opportunities, the current team can really go far and can inspire many.

“There are too many people who have helped me over the years to thank them all personally now, but I’d like to thank all the coaches, all the staff, all the captains, all the players and all the people at Cricket Scotland who have been involved during my time with the national team.

“They have trusted me and they have given me the opportunity and the platform to go out there and perform at the highest level.

“I just want to say thank you to you all and I hope I repaid the faith you showed in me.

“My career with Scotland has been filled with some real highs and a few lows, I feel extremely fortunate to have played for my country 229 times. It was something that I never took for granted and it was a huge honour and a privilege. I hope I have entertained a few people along the way and, ultimately, I feel like I am leaving the team in a better place than when I started this amazing journey.

“So, to everybody that has supported me in any way throughout my time in a Scotland shirt thank you, I simply could not have done it without you.”

Calum’s impressive list of accolades and records was augmented in 2018 when he named Associate Player of the Year and then again in 2020 being nominated for Associate Player of the Decade.

Commenting on Calum’s career, Scotland Men’s Head Coach Shane Burger said “I am Incredibly sad to see his career end particularly in the fashion it did with us bowing out of the World Cup in the first round as it would not have been how Calum would have wanted.

“For me personally, Calum leaves a great legacy behind him in not only the runs he scored including ten ODI hundreds, but also his desire to put in performances in the earlier part of his career when he was a bowler and had to transition into a batter. He is an incredibly talented sportsman, a fantastic fielder, a real fighter and someone who would front up when it was required. Those were his characteristics, and he can hold his head really high as he has left Scottish cricket in a better place.

“We wish him all the best in his future career and we know he has all the skills and attributes to be really successful and I know he will continue to impact on many people’s lives. We will miss him but respect his decision and wish him well in his journey.”

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