World Cup 2015 February 12, 2015

'I was 11 and the poster boy for Scotland strip'

Calum MacLeod, Richie Berrington, Majid Haq and Kyle Coetzer talk George Dobell and Melinda Farrell through their World Cup memories and pick out their stars - past and future - of ODI cricket

Majid Haq: "Calum MacLeod has had an amazing story: a seamer who batted XI and now opens the batting and doesn't bowl" © Cricket Scotland

What is your earliest World Cup memory?
Calum MacLeod: I remember sitting side on at Worcester watching the Scotland v Australia game in 1999. I was 11 years old and I was obviously the poster boy for the Scotland strip because Dad [Donald MacLeod, a well known photographer with an illustrious career in journalism] was taking the pictures. That's probably my earliest memory of live cricket events I'd gone to, seeing the greats like Warne and McGrath. Gav Hamilton got some runs. I think James Brinkley had the lowest strike rate of all the bowlers in the tournament so I remember sitting there and watching that and getting quite excited.

Richie Berrington: It was watching Lance Klusener in 1999 when he was smashing a few against the Aussies in the semi-final.

Majid Haq: Watching the 1992 final between England and Pakistan. Pakistan batted quite slowly and it didn't look as if they had enough. But Imran Khan knew what he was doing. And then Mushtaq Ahmed and Wasim Akram bowled brilliantly. Was I supporting England? What do you think?

Kyle Coetzer: The one springs to mind is when South Africa didn't quite get through. 1999, wasn't it?

Who will be the breakthrough player in this World Cup?
CM: Matt Machan has got a lot about him since he came in. He's certainly very talented, and hopefully it's a good chance for him to showcase what he's got.

RB: For us, Matt Machan is very talented. I've played with him now for a couple of years and he's still fairly young but he's got a lot of experience from playing with Sussex. I've seen him score some brilliant hundreds so I'm confident he'll do well.

MH: Calum MacLeod has done very well of late. He could make a name for himself. He has had an amazing story: a seamer who batted XI and now opens the batting and doesn't bowl. Matt Machan is looking good, too.

KC: Calum MacLeod has gone from strength to strength in these last couple of years. It would be nice to see him do well.

Who is the best death bowler you've seen?
CM: Lasith Malinga is pretty hard to beat.

RB: Umar Gul is probably up there. He went through that stage about a year or so ago when he was just bowling unbelievably well at the death.

MH: Wasim Akram could do anything. He could bowl over or around the wicket. He could bowl slower balls or bouncers, yorkers or reverse swing. He had it all. I faced Shoaib Akhtar back in 2003, too. He was very quick.

KC: Darren Gough wasn't too bad, you know. I suppose Malinga is the obvious answer, but Gough bowled a lot of important death owners.

Who are Scotland going to play in the final?
CM: Australia are looking pretty strong in their own country. India are reigning champions and have a seriously good ODI side. They're probably the two teams.

RB: Australia playing in their own country have got a very good chance. South Africa is probably another one, they've been in good form recently.

MH: I think we'll play South Africa in the final.

KC: You can't go far wrong with South Africa, Australia or India - they all have the ability take each other down on their day - but I'm going to go for Australia.

Who is the most destructive batsman you've seen?
CM: AB de Villiers. Lance Klusener in 1999. He kind of changed it didn't he? As a lower-order hitter.

RB: AB de Villiers.

MH: It has to be AB de Villiers.

KC: I'd probably say Chris Gayle.

What's the best World Cup match you can remember?
CM: It's probably not the best contest but Ricky Ponting's hundred in the 2003 World Cup against India, I think it was in the final, and then Andrew Symonds got some runs as well. I remember watching that and thinking it was something special.

RB: Australia v South Africa in 1999. Just the drama.

MJ: The semi-final of the 1999 World Cup between South Africa and Australia. Everyone is saying that, aren't they?

KC: It's pretty hard to look past that semi-final in 1999, isn't it?

Have you ever had a proper job?
CM: Only part-time jobs. I was quite lucky. I was a sandwich artist at Subway for a while, when I was out here. They gave me a little certificate. And I worked at a local restaurant.

RB: Early on I had a part-time job, working a few hours in Tescos on the tills. It was something I did while I was trying to continue playing a bit of cricket but I've been professional now for a few years.

MH: I worked as an accountant for six months before I became a full-time cricketer. That's the career I'll go back to after cricket, too. My family had a restaurant in Paisley for 35 years, too, and I helped out there at the weekends, but my dad retired about five years ago, so we have it away.

KC: I used to work in a theatre. I was a concierge. You know, showing people to their seats with a torch and that. Does that count as a proper job?

Who is the best finisher?
CM: James Faulkner is doing pretty well at the moment. MS Dhoni does it time and time again. He's calm in big games. We sat as a team one day, it was a T20 match, and the run rate was going up and up and he left a couple of balls and we thought how do you have the calmness to leave those balls under that pressure? 

RB: I remember Michael Bevan bashing it. In more recent times I'd say Mike Hussey. He was always good to watch the way he'd come in in the middle order and just one minute ticking by and then all of a sudden he was destructive at the end.

MH: Michael Bevan, of Australia, was superb. He orchestrated so many run chases.

KC: Michael Bevan's record was unbelievable. He won so many games. If he was there, you always felt Australia were going to win.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo; Melinda Farrell is a correspondent

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