Dewsbury-born cricketer Iain Wardlaw grew up just a six hit away from Hartshead Moor CC now he is set to feature in next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup.
The 28-year-old Cleckheaton fast bowler helped Scotland reach the 2015 finals to be held in Australia and New Zealand, where they have been drawn against both the co-hosts, along with England, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in the group stages.
Wardlaw picked up 16 wickets during Scotland’s successful World Cup qualifying campaign in New Zealand, which concluded with a memorable final victory over the United Arab Emirates last Friday.
Wardlaw picked up 3-58 from 10 overs as Scotland restricted the UAE to 244-9 in reply to their 285-5, in which captain Preston Mommsen hit 139 not out.
Former Hartshead Moor player Wardlaw can now start making plans for a memorable return to the southern hemisphere this time next year when he will be spearheading the Saltires bowling attack against some of the greatest cricketers in the world.
It caps a whirlwind year for the Cleckheaton man, who has also been shortlisted for the ICC’s International Debut Cricketer of the Year.
Speaking after returning home from New Zealand on Tuesday, Wardlaw said: “It was a dream to reach the World Cup but in retrospect, we had a good chance of qualifying but everything came together and it was the culmination of two years hard work since I have been involved.
“I spoke to the coaches before and my job was to be aggressive, take wickets and run in and bowl as fast as a could to shake up the opposition.
“I did that on the occasions I took three wickets.
“It was brilliant and we did so well to reach the final that we were relaxed going into the UAE game, especially as we had beaten them pretty comprehensively 10 days previously.”
Wardlaw plays his club cricket for Bradford League side Cleckheaton, who he helped win a first Division One title last summer.
He added: “It came as a bit of a shock to be shortlisted (for the ICC debutant of the year) alongside some world class players but it is a pretty special moment in my career.
“I have another year on my contract at Yorkshire and wherever I play I will always give 100 per cent.
“Whether that’s with Yorkshire, Scotland or Cleckheaton, I will put my heart and soul into it.”
Wardlaw is now looking towards another hectic 12 months in the build up to next year’s World Cup.