Scotland’s Calum MacLeod announces retirement from international cricket

Scotland's Calum MacLeod announces retirement from international cricket

Calum MacLeod has announced his retirement from international cricket.

“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,” McLeod said in a statement released by Cricket Scotland earlier in the week. “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.”

MacLeod, 33, made his full international debut in 2008 – though he had started out the year before at ICC pathway events – and played 88 ODIs and 64 T20Is, representing Scotland in four T20 World Cups and one 50-over World Cup. He ended with 3026 runs at an average of 38.30 in ODIs – which included ten centuries – and 1238 runs at 23.80 in T20Is. He has the second-most runs for Scotland in ODIs behind Kyle Coetzer and is fourth on the list in T20Is. One of his notable contributions came in 2018, when he struck 140 not out in Edinburgh to help Scotland beat England for the first time in an ODI.

McLeod was part of the ongoing T20 World Cup in Australia, too, and made 48 runs in three matches in the first round. Scotland started their campaign by springing an upset on West Indies but failed to qualify for the main competition, the Super 12s, after losing their next two matches against Ireland and Zimbabwe.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Scotland 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.”

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