Calum MacLeod’s spectacular hundred ambushed England recently but it came as no surprise to Derbyshire cricket advisor Kim Barnett.
The 29-year-old had already agreed to join Derbyshire as part of a blossoming relationship with Cricket Scotland before his unbeaten 140 from 94 balls shredded England’s attack in Edinburgh.
Macleod and international team-mate Safyaan Sharif have signed for the upcoming Vitality Blast with Scotland coach Grant Bradburn joining Derbyshire’s coaching staff for the tournament.
Bradburn, who is a friend of the Falcons T20 coach John Wright, approached Barnett earlier this year with a view to getting some of his players experience in English cricket.
“It came about through Grant really.” Barnett said. “He’s a New Zealander and he knows Wrighty so all our bits and pieces came together in what is hopefully a plus for Derbyshire.
“He got in touch and suggested to me that some of his players would gain by playing cricket on the county scene and that as Scotland weren’t playing after these current internationals, from the T20 onwards all their contracted players would be available.
“I thought that would be ideal so it was then a matter of getting the balance right and we thought a batter and a bowler in view of our small squad would be the perfect addition.
“We took Saffy (Sharif) on for the 50 overs competition, he had a couple of games and helped us win the Warwickshire match but I would say T20 is more his bag really.
“Calum just happened to get that 140 against England but we had done the deal three or four weeks earlier so I hope people don’t think I got on a plane to Glasgow and signed him up the night after he got the hundred!”
Both are expected to figure prominently in the Blast with MacLeod’s signing taking on greater significance now that Luis Reece will miss a large chunk of the tournament with a broken foot.
“People might think Calum is an even better asset now having seen that innings against England,” Barnett said.
“Because we had taken the squad down to 14 or 15 seniors, the guys who want to come here are going to get more opportunities and I’m hoping they will come and participate to a major degree and show their skills.
“Grant is coming down as well to join the coaching squad which again is a great asset to us and I’m hoping we will have another decent campaign.
“Whatever we did last year, you would think we have a better squad this year with more depth to it with bat and ball.”