MacLeod extends loan spell with Durham
From Durham CCC
Calum MacLeod says he is feeling "comfortable and confident" after Cricket Scotland agreed to extend his loan period with Durham CCC.
The Scottish International initially joined on trial during pre-season following several impressive displays for Scotland in the World Cup Qualifiers, which included an associate record score of 175 against Canada.
Durham captain Paul Collingwood, who was working as Scotland's Assistant Coach, recommended the former Warwickshire all-rounder to the county champions.
Collingwood's judgement has proved valuable, as MacLeod has scored over 200 runs for the Durham Jets since his arrival.
Cricket Scotland has now agreed a deal with Calum and Durham CCC to keep him at Emirates Durham ICG until the end of the season, whilst Calum remains fully contracted to Cricket Scotland. MacLeod will be available for all Scotland's fixtures.
"It's nice to be full time here now. Hopefully I'll be able to have a good summer with the group" MacLeod told durhamccc.co.uk.
"I feel very comfortable. I've taken a lot of confidence from the first few games, and the confidence from the dressing room is spilling onto the pitch so hopefully over the next few games we can turn those narrow defeats into wins"
MacLeod made his Durham Jets debut against Worcestershire Rapids in mid-May and smashed an unbeaten 80 to help his new side to victory.
The 25 year old has since started in all four of the team's NatWest T20 Blast matches and is currently the Jets' leading run scorer.
"Coming in and scoring a few runs quite early on in the piece, it helped me in breaking into the first team"
"The guys have made me feel really welcome so there's no been no outside pressure apart from any pressure I've put on myself to perform"
"Sometimes you just get into a confident frame of mind where you're understanding your game and you know what you're trying to do, and it's always nice when that happens"
Although only used in limited overs matches so far, MacLeod is looking to feature in all forms of the game.
The 50 over Royal London One-Day cup begins in late July, and there are 12 Championship and T20 fixtures on the agenda before then.
"As the season goes on, it's about pushing for more first team spots in the one day games and the championship as well, and hopefully I can achieve that"
"With the way the batters have started this year it's going to be a tough challenge to get in"
"They've started quite well and nearly all the batters have got some good runs behind them, so it's going to be a good challenge to get enough weight of runs in the seconds to put pressure on and get your name out there"
"It should be good fun" added the 25 year old.
MacLeod has impressed with a run of consistent scores for the 2nd XI in recent weeks, and he has also led the side on a number of occasions.
2nd XI coach Alastiar Maiden has entrusted the Scot with the captaincy, and the former Warwickshire man will skipper the team again when they take on Derbyshire this week.
"It's been a good challenge" MacLeod said.
"It's something I enjoy doing, I've always enjoyed captaining"
"It keeps you in the game and adds that little bit pressure onto you in the seconds, which can also be nice to keep challenging you really"
Durham coach, Jon Lewis , told the Chronicle, “He had a tough time of it.
“He was only 20 or 21 when he was released by Warwickshire so that was a few years back and his role in the side was different then.
“I am not quite sure where his batting was at that stage but he was primarily a seam bowler.
“He has done well to force himself into a different role to get himself back into the game and I would like to think he is enjoying it.
“He might not have enjoyed it much today maybe, but he is enjoying being back involved in first-class cricket.”
A further sign of how impressed Durham have been with the Scot comes from the fact he has captained the second-team recently – in all forms of the game.
Lewis said: “That was Alistair (Maiden, the coach)’s call, which I am more than happy to back him on.
“He is experienced, he has played ICC competitions all over the world, at T20 level in particular.
“It is a good call to give him that responsibility and by all accounts he is making a good fist of it as well.”