Yorkshire’s Iain Wardlaw is set to complete a remarkable rise from office worker to international cricketer inside two years.
The 27-year-old fast bowler has been called up to a Cricket Scotland training camp in Edinburgh across the next two weekends, for whom he qualifies through having a Scottish father despite being born in Dewsbury.
Wardlaw is then hoping to impress enough to earn a call-up for a series of World Cricket League matches against Afghanistan during early March in the United Arab Emirates.
Before signing for Yorkshire in July of 2011, Wardlaw worked in the accounts department of a graphic design company and caught the county’s attention through his performances for Bradford League side Cleckheaton.
He has since played 19 matches for Yorkshire in all competitions, and has taken 17 wickets including the prized scalp of India captain MS Dhoni at the Champions League t20 competition in South Africa last October.
The idea of him playing for Scotland was first mooted at the end of the most recent county campaign.
He said: “It is a great honour to be called into the training camp with the national side.
“It did come as a shock, but I’m relishing the opportunity of training with the national squad and hope that I can impress enough to force my way into the squad for the group of matches against Afghanistan.”
Wardlaw, who signed a new two-year contract at Headingley after returning from the CLt20, also got engaged to his new fiancee, Charlotte, at Christmas.
On the prospect of playing against the ever-improving Afghanistan side, he added: “No team will take them lightly, and they have real quality with their bowlers who can bowl at pace. They also have some good batters that are very strong in one-day cricket.
“There will be a lot of pressure on the matches coming up in March.
“Only the top two from the group can go through to automatic qualification to the World Cup in 2015. Even though Scotland are currently in second spot, we cannot afford to slip up.
“Afghanistan could be one of those teams that could embarrass you if you’re not prepared and focused.”