HE was plucked from the accounts department of a graphic design company, but now Iain Wardlaw’s fairytale career in county cricket is over.
The 28-year-old pace bowler has been released by Yorkshire and is set to pursue interests outside the game.
Wardlaw, who remains part of the Scotland set-up and recently helped the the national team qualify for the 2015 World Cup, had found first-team opportunities at Headingley increasingly limited.
Yorkshire possess one of the strongest – if not the strongest – pace attacks in the country with Ryan Sidebottom, Tim Bresnan, Steve Patterson, Liam Plunkett and Jack Brooks all currently above Wardlaw in the pecking order.
In a short statement, Wardlaw said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a professional cricketer with Yorkshire. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody associated with the club, in particular the supporters, and I wish the lads all the best for the 2014 season.”
Yorkshire chairman Colin Graves commented: “Iain is a great guy and I am sorry he has not had the breaks he needed to establish himself in our first team.
“I would like to thank him for his contribution over the last few years and wish him well.”
It was in 2011 that Wardlaw came to prominence after some impressive performances for Bradford League side Cleckheaton, the club of Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale.
Wardlaw made his county debut in a Twenty20 game against Nottinghamshire at Headingley on July 3 2011, starring with 2-17 from 3.1 overs. Soon, he had represented Yorkshire in all three forms of the game and joined a select group of players to have made their first-class debut in a Roses fixture.
However, Wardlaw played only four first-class matches for the county – the last of them in May 2012 – and was primarily viewed as a one-day specialist.
In 2012, he achieved the notable feat of dismissing the India captain MS Dhoni during Yorkshire’s Twenty20 Champions League odyssey in South Africa.
Wardlaw, who qualifies for Scotland through his Scottish father, comes from a talented cricketing family. His sister, Helen, played three Tests and seven one-day internationals for England women between 2002 and 2004.