Scotland: Calum MacLeod eager to shine at Cricket World Cup

Calum MacLeod signed for Durham in 2014
Calum MacLeod signed for Durham in 2014

Calum MacLeod aims to recapture the century-hitting form that helped Scotland qualify for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The Durham batsman scored 175 and 113 against Canada and UAE respectively as the Scots won the World Cup qualifying trophy in Christchurch in 2014.

"Hopefully getting back to New Zealand and the good memories of playing there will help stimulate the form," he said.

"I'm hoping to go into the tournament absolutely buzzing."

Scotland, coached by New Zealander Grant Bradburn, fly out to Australia on Sunday ahead of the showpiece which begins on 14 February.

Scotland's World Cup fixtures
17 FebNew Zealand, Dunedin
23 FebEngland, Christchurch
26 FebAfghanistan, Dunedin
5 MarchBangladesh, Nelson
11 MarchSri Lanka, Hobart
14 MarchAustralia, Hobart

The national side will face Ireland and the West Indies in final preparation matches on 10 and 12 February in Sydney, before their first World Cup group game against New Zealand in Dunedin.

"Excitement would be the underlying feeling," MacLeod told BBC Scotland.

"It should be a great tournament. We've got a couple of weeks in Sydney and we'll hopefully go into the tournament ready for it and take some big scalps.

"We've had a long time to prepare for it and note what's coming, and hopefully that stands us in good stead to get out there and do what we've done the hard work for."

MacLeod has had to squeeze in a house-move to Chester-le-Street before departing for Australia, a decision he took after signing a new two-year contract at Durham in November.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wishes the national team well ahead of their departure
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wishes the national team well ahead of their departure

The 26-year-old admits his international form has not been at its best during the recent tri-series Scotland played with Ireland and Afghanistan, but is confident he can rekindle solid form when it really matters.

"I hope so," said MacLeod. "Last year was a pretty spectacular year personally for me and one that probably surprised me more than anyone.

"We have some team goals that we'll probably keep to ourselves. But we've got to try and do what no other Scotland team's done, and that's win a game in the World Cup.

"If we get that done early then who knows what can happen."

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