Scotland's Neil McCallum Announces International Retirement
Fri, Aug 12, 2011 2:57 PM
Neil McCallum has today announced that he will retire from international cricket following this Sunday’s CB40 game against Hampshire at Mannofield.
McCallum, who will be 34 this year, made his debut for Scotland in 2000 and has played 133 matches for his country. Although making his debut 11 years ago it was only in 2006 that McCallum cemented a place in the Scotland side, and from that time to this he has been a central figure for Scotland’s international teams, scoring runs consistently in all forms of the games.
McCallum scored seven hundreds for Scotland, placing him second equal on the all time list behind Iain Philip. Two of these hundreds were scored in McCallum’s 43 One Day International’s, more matches than any other Scotsman. In his ODI debut, McCallum scored 68 against Pakistan at the Citylets Grange sharing in a partnership of 118 with Ryan Watson.
In 14 first class games, McCallum averaged over 44, including a highest score of 181 against Holland in 2007, the third equal highest ever score for Scotland in first class cricket. McCallum has played a crucial part in Scotland’s recent resurgence in international cricket scoring important runs in both last year’s World Cricket League and Intercontinental Cup assisting his side to runners up spot in both major competitions. In the final of the intercontinental Cup last December, he scored a magnificent 104 not out, helping Scotland recover to gain a first innings lead in the game.
Commenting on his decision to retire, McCallum stated "It has not been an easy decision to retire this weekend, but I believe the time is right. Representing Scotland has been an honour and I have been extremely fortunate to play at some of the world’s best grounds, against some of the world’s finest players and also to play in three memorable World Cups, each being an amazing experience.
These days Scotland are training and competing all year round. It was becoming harder to dedicate the correct amount of time to perform and train at an International level. I have been trying to juggle work and family on top of school, club and regional cricket, as well as the demands of training and competing at the elite level.
I would like to thank my team mates and coaches Peter Steindl and Tony Judd who over the years have shown faith in me and helped me improve as a cricketer. I would also like to thank Gareth Edwards, the headmaster of George Watson's College, as the school have been very supportive over the years, allowing me the time off to represent Scotland. Finally a special thanks must go to my family who have followed my progress and to my wife Philippa who has been a huge support over the last four years."
Peter Steindl, Scotland’s head coach added ‘’It has been a pleasure working with Neil over the last 4 seasons. He has always exhibited the qualities required to compete and be successful in performance sport. His dedication and enthusiasm both on and off the pitch has always been a major factor in his success and has been the benchmark for other players to follow. He never shirked from putting in the hours preparing, improving his skills and getting fitter all on top of holding down a full time job in teaching and I know all of his teammates held him in high regard. As a popular and entertaining member of the team his presence in the dressing room will be greatly missed by players and support staff alike. I would like to wish him every success in the future.”
Roddy Smith, Cricket Scotland Chief Executive commented ‘’Neil has been a stand out performer for the national side for the last six seasons. I doubt there has been a more determined, brave and committed player to ever represent Scotland. Neil’s strength and importance were that he always delivered when his country needed him most. From his first ODI to his last first class game he scored runs if Scotland were in trouble. Neil has also been a fantastic role model for the new generation of Scotland players, showing them that you must work hard and be committed to get success in the game. On behalf of all Scotland supporters, can I thank Neil for an outstanding international career.’