Craig Wallace spoke to Gary Heatly about bikes, golf and getting back on the cricket pitch.
Craig Wallace cycled 672 miles to raise vital funds for charity and also secured a golf hole in one while cricket in Scotland was in lockdown, but now it is back to the day job – and he cannot wait.
The 30-year-old ion8 Forfarshire player was last week named in a 14-man Scotland men’s squad that are travelling to the Netherlands to play two One Day Internationals against the hosts on Wednesday and Friday in Rotterdam.
The matches will be Scotland’s first competitive action since December 2019 when they took on the UAE in Dubai and will also mark the start of their road to the Twenty20 World Cup which is currently scheduled to be in India in October.
“We have been back training together as a squad since the beginning of April and everyone just cannot wait to play competitive games again,” Wallace, who is one of 13 Cricket Scotland contracted male players, said.
“When you are so immersed in cricket you maybe take it for granted a bit, but the last 14 months or so has reminded us all just how much we love the game, love playing and love representing Scotland.
“During the various lockdowns and periods of strict restrictions I tried to take a step back, look back on the good times I have had so far in my cricket career and then really focus on what else I want to achieve.
“With things now starting to get going for us again, the fixtures will hopefully come thick and fast and I want to make sure that I put my best foot forward and stake a claim for a spot in the squad that goes to the T20 World Cup later in the year.
“I am feeling fit and in a good place to really hit the ground running and do my bit for Scotland in the 50-over format and the T20 format and for now all I am focusing on is the Netherlands games next week.”
With no cricket being played towards the back end of last year wicketkeeper/batter Wallace put his spare time to good use, cycling 672 miles alongside international team mate Ali Evans in seven days to raise money for Brain Tumour Research.
That was in October and then, once he had recovered from that challenge, he dusted himself down to get out on the course and ace the par four fourth hole at Panmure Golf Club.
“That was a nice feeling getting a hole in one,” Wallace, who is now studying for a Psychology qualification via Northumbria University part-time, smiles.
“A lot of the cricket lads play golf on our days off, so it was a good way to keep active when other sports were shutdown.
“As for the cycle, well when I first mooted the idea I could never have imagined how big it would get.
“Myself and Ali were given so much support by so many different people in different ways and although there were some tough times in the saddle, we were doing it all for our former team mate Con de Lange who sadly passed away in 2019 and that pushed us through.
“As much as I liked the cycling, I am much more comfortable on a cricket field and you miss the camaraderie with all of your close mates.
“We know the Netherlands are a good side and we have had some good battles with them over the years, so I imagine the two games coming up will be close ones too.”