Cleckheaton cricketer Iain Wardlaw is set to realise a childhood dream by representing Scotland at next year’s ICC World Cup.
The jet-lagged 28-year-old fast bowler returned to the Spen Valley on Tuesday having helped Scotland win the World Cup qualifying tournament in New Zealand.
The former Hartshead Moor player can now begin planning how he will tackle the world’s elite players at next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking to The Guardian, a delighted Wardlaw said: “This is what dreams are made of. I have loved the game since starting as a five year-old but if you would have told me a few years ago that I would be playing for my country against England and Australia, I wouldn’t have believed it.
“It has been an unreal year and a culmination for all the hard work and effort put in over two or three years like taking holidays to play cricket.
“Playing in a tournament like that (the qualifiers) and getting your country to a World Cup, there is no better feeling.”
Wardlaw claimed 16 wickets in the World Cup qualifying tournament, including 3-58 in a thrilling final victory over the United Arab Emirates last weekend.
Cricket Scotland media manager Ben Fox, was also full of praise for the Cleckheaton lad.
Mr Fox added: “Since joining Scotland, Iain has been a credit to the team.
“He never leaves anything in the dressing room and gives his all, even when he may be getting hit about a bit. He lives life to the full and it has been great to have him around.”
Wardlaw’s parents Pauline and Bill have vowed to fund a trip to Australia and New Zealand for the World Cup, which starts in February 2015.