Wardlaw surprise at county debut

CLECKHEATON V SALTAIRE - Iain Wardlaw.  d08051077
CLECKHEATON V SALTAIRE - Iain Wardlaw. d08051077

CLECKHEATON pace bowler Iain Wardlaw admits the last few days have been something off a whirlwind after he was handed a surprise debut in Yorkshire Twenty20 clash against Nottingham Outlaws at Headingley last Sunday, writes Andrew Hunt.

Wardlaw,26, signed professional terms with Yorkshire last month but although the opening bowler was 12th man in three games, he said the call-up was a huge surprise.

“I had been in the squad and was bowling well in the nets but when Galey (captain Andrew Gale) rang me to give me the heads up that I was playing, it came as a shock,” he said.

“When I was at the end of my run-up, I felt a bit nervous but after the first couple of balls I was okay.”

If Wardlaw had any nerves it didn’t show as he claimed the wickets of Riki Wessels and Tamim Iqbal to end with 2-17 from 3.1 overs.

Wardlaw continued his fine form for Yorkshire seconds on Wednesday when he claimed 2-20 from nine overs against the MCC.

He added: “The last two weeks have been something of a whirlwind from working full-time in an office to travelling and playing but I am thoroughly enjoying the experience.

Wardlaw quit his job at Leading Edge Graphics in Cleckheaton to pursue his cricket career and former boss Matthew Evans was at Headingley to see his debut, along with Iain’s parents Billy and Pauline.

Wardlaw began his career at Hartshead Moor and each year the club run a trip to watch a Yorkshire away game.

Last year, Wardlaw travelled with the party to Chelmsford and on July 27 the Moor lads are running a mini bus for the one-day game against Sussex at Hove.

It promises to be a fun-filled trip and would certainly make it even more memorable if their former team-mate was playing.

Wardlaw paid tribute to the help and support he has received from the members at Hartshead and Cleckheaton, adding: “Everyone has backed me and been so supportive, which is nice.”

Cleckheaton meet East Bierley in the Priestley Cup semi-final on Sunday but Wardlaw is waiting on his availability as Yorkshire have a huge week ahead with one and four-day games in Scarborough.