Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

MacLeod Sets the Tone for Scotland

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

MacLeod Sets the Tone for Scotland

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner stuart.rayner@ncjmedia.co.uk

GAVIN Hamilton has urged Calum MacLeod to shrug off his World Cup disappointment and set the tone for Scotland against England.

For the Three Lions, tomorrow night's match has taken on must-win proportions after yesterday's eightwicket humiliation in Wellington. But with Ben Stokes overlooked for the tournament, the Durham interest in the game comes from Scotland opener MacLeod and coach Paul Collingwood.

MacLeod's World Cup debut ended in a first-ball duck as his side were also crushed by New Zealand, on Tuesday morning.

But while the Scots were always likely to struggle against the co-hosts, beating a wobbling England is now a real possibility.

To achieve it, former Durham batsman Hamilton - who played for both countries - believes MacLeod must put his firstday failure out of his head. And having seen the transformation in the player he captained at the 2009 World Twenty20, Hamilton has no doubt he will.

"In 2009 he opened the bowling and batted at 11," recalled Hamilton, who made one Test appearance for England and played in 38 one-day internationals and 12 Twenty20 internationals for Scotland. "I'd lost touch with Scottish cricket for a year or so and I was amazed with how he played in the qualifying tournament.

"To go from No.11 to opening the batting for Scotland and coming in at three for Durham is some achievement. He's such a good lad and I know how hard he works."

MacLeod broke into the Scotland side as a Warwickshire bowler but when his action was deemed illegal he left the professional game, and reinvented himself as a limited-overs batsman.

He was rewarded last year when Collingwood recognised his talent, and signed him for Durham.

MacLeod was pivotal to the qualifying campaign which brought Scotland Down Under, and Hamilton wants more of the same against England.

"To get out for a golden duck against New Zealand in the opening game was an early setback, but the ball he got was an absolute peach," he said. "Against England I think he will play the same way that has brought him success, and I hope he does. …

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