Congratulations are in order for Calum MacLeod as the International Cricket Council today revealed the Glasgow-born batsman as 2018’s Associate Cricketer of the Year.
MacLeod, who set Scottish cricket alight in 2018 with two unbeaten ODI centuries of 157* and 140*, said “it is a huge honour to win the ICC Associate Player of the Year award. It has been a really special year for me personally. I thank the ICC, Cricket Scotland, my team-mates and all the fans for making it a year I won’t forget.”
The ICC Voting Academy were unanimous in awarding the title, with MacLeod receiving the second highest number of votes across all the individual awards.
The award caps a phenomenal 2018 for the batsman, who has the best conversion rate of fifties to hundreds across those with more than 10 fifty-plus scores in ODI cricket.
The ICC listed MacLeod’s unbeaten tons as “two of international cricket’s most impressive batting displays of the year.”
The first, a commanding 157* against Afghanistan at Bulawayo on the opening day of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018, set the tone for MacLeod’s year ahead with 157 off 146 balls, sweeping Rashid Khan away for 1/68 from nine overs.
His scintillating performance was soon followed by a match-winning knock of 140* at the Grange in June 2018 to record a shock victory over no.1 ranked ODI side, England. This time, MacLeod’s century came from just 96 balls, setting up a victory that will remain etched forever in Scottish cricket’s history.
Speaking of his innings, the 2018 Associate Cricketer of the Year said, “the biggest thing I’ll take away from [the game] is how the crowd reacted. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an atmosphere like that in Scotland for cricket. It was just a wonderful day all round. It was just a great game of cricket.”
Looking to 2019 and beyond, MacLeod commented “It’s an exciting year. The standard of Associate cricket is as high as I’ve ever remembered it. We’ve got a great series coming up in Oman and that will be a new country to go and visit. We just hope that we continue on the path we were last year, in playing that aggressive style of cricket that we want to be known.”