Scottish cricket star Calum MacLeod was once asked to stop speaking Gaelic with his brother on the field as the umpire felt it was unfair to the other players.
He may have played a blinder to secure a Scottish win over England on June 10 but Calum MacLeod hasn’t always had the best of times on the cricket field. In fact, on one occasion he was even asked not to speak his native tongue during a game as it was felt to be too much of an advantage over other players.
Stating that it was unfair and rude to all the other players - opposition and teammates included - an umpire called on MacLeod and his brother Allan MacLeod to stop speaking Gaelic (Scots Irish) to each other when they were appearing for Coatbridge-based club Drumpellier in a junior league match.
Congrats to @CricketScotland on a historic victory over England. A wonderful contest and wonderful story to match - Calum MacLeod, Gaelic-speaking Glaswegian whose grandfather was born in the Outer Hebrides hits an unbeaten 140. The underdog in all his-her sporting glory.— Peter Jackson (@JackoRugby) June 10, 2018
“It was hilarious,” said his brother Allan MacLeod, who is now a broadcaster with BBC Alba (BBC Scotland).
“I was keeping wicket and Calum was bowling - so using the Gaelic was useful to discuss tactics between deliveries.
“But this particular umpire took exception and told us to speak English."
MacLeod was the first Gaelic-speaking cricket player to appear in a test match when he appeared for England in 2009, called up as a substitute during an Ashes game in Birmingham, England.
Read more: Learning Irish for the first time - a challenge and a joy
Gàidhlig (Scots Gaelic) is one of the main three modern Gaelic languages along with Gaeilge (Irish). In the 2011 census, 57,375 people (1.1% of the Scottish population aged over three years old) reported as able to speak Gaelic.
H/T: Herald Scotland