Iain Wardlaw, who was working in the accounts department of a graphic design company two summers ago, has been handed a new deal by Yorkshire.
The 27-year-old Bradford League product has signed a two-year deal after making strides with the county over the last 18 months.
He left his job as an accountant to pursue his cricketing dreams with the Tykes in the summer of 2011, announcing his arrival with two wickets on his debut against Nottinghamshire Outlaws in a T20 clash in July, 2011.
His County Championship bow arrived in April and despite being a bit-part player at first-class level as Yorkshire achieved promotion back to the top-flight in 2012, Wardlaw has been delighted to be part of a winning dressing room.
While the addition of Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett to the bowling stable makes Wardlaw’s job that bit harder in terms of first-class opportunities, the seamer – who attracted the attention of White Rose scouts at Cleckheaton after starting out at Hartshead Moor – will be giving his all to hand first-coach Jason Gillespie a potential selection quandary in 2013.
Wardlaw said: “It takes the worries away and I can try and concentrate on the cricket and try and push on now. If I look at where I am now to 18 months ago, the transition has gone really well and I am pretty pleased.
“I have self-confidence now knowing I can play at this level and sort of know my role in the team, especially at one-day level. I know where I am and need to be. Hopefully, after working hard in the winter, I can push myself into that Championship squad.”
Wardlaw’s highs in the past 18 months have been many, from making his first appearance for the White Rose at Headingley to pre-season touring in Barbados and making his first-class debut for his home county.
But if he had to choose his favourite experience, it would be a case of the best being saved until last, with the right-arm fast bowler appearing alongside some household names during Yorkshire’s Champions League Twenty20 odyssey in South Africa.
“You could say it was a bit of a change around from playing on Saturday to then lining up against some of the top players in the world,” he said. “To bowl Dhoni was a nice little highlight.”
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