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By Calum MacLeod
My hundred against Oman was my first for Scotland, so I was delighted with that, as it had been a long time coming, so I was very, very pleased with it. It was obviously nice to have my dad here to see it as well, as he was person who inspired me to play as a kid – the school I went to, where Gallic was the first language, really only played football. My dad is a professional photographer and is covering the event for most of the newspapers back home, so I suppose you could say he had a good day at work!
Having really emerged on the scene as a bowler, which helped me get a county contract with Warwickshire in England, I am really enjoying my new role in the team, after a hard period in my career when my bowling action was being investigated. I think that’s probably where some of the emotion came from in my celebration for my first century, as I had to reinvent myself as a player, and I’m starting to do well with my bat.
When I had all the issues with my bowling action and had to go through various ICC tests, that was a difficult period in my career, but it provided me with the opportunity to watch at close hand some really top-class players and gave me some inspiration to improve my batting.
While it was really tough at the time, the chance to work alongside people like Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, when I had a contract with Warwickshire, can only have had a positive impact on my game.
I knew I had to improve as a batsman, if I was going to find a way of getting a place in the team and I think knowing that I had to raise my game if I still wanted to be a professional cricketer was very important.
I think my batting is going really well at the moment and I am trying to improve my play in all three formats of the game – T20 cricket suits my style of play, but if you want to be a top batsman, you have to be able to play in all formats.
My priority is trying to help Scotland improve, but I think all Associate and Affiliate players now look to T20 cricket as an opportunity to gain experience at a higher level in domestic competitions across the world.
Kyle Coetzer, who is part of the Scotland squad here, played in the Bangladesh Premier League and he felt that he learnt a lot from that experience. That is all in the future though – I just want to try and do as well as I can here and help Scotland qualify for the World Twenty20 2012.
It is quite difficult to play four games in four days, so we are all looking forward to the rest day. Mentally it is particularly exhausting – I have slept well over the last few nights in Dubai.
The physio will try and have us in ice baths and the swimming pools, but I am keen to try and get a chance to look at the malls and also see the Burj Khalifa. We have all been watching quite a lot of the UFC on the television, which is on in Dubai this weekend, so we are going to try and watch that as well.
Then it will be back to playing on Sunday and trying to get Scotland a step closer to qualification.
Calum MacLeod is a batsman for Scotland and part of the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers in the UAE
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