Tom Sole comes from good sporting stock, so it is no surprise that the 21-year-old is in fine fettle as he aims to make his debut for the full Scotland cricket team over the next 10 days.
On Friday spinning all-rounder Tom jetted off with Grant Bradburn’s squad to the United Arab Emirates to face Ireland and the UAE in a Tri-Series.
The tour will provide some valuable preparation for the Scots ahead of the ICC World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe which will be held in March.
Tom has been called-up having had a good 2017 with county side Northamptonshire down south and then impressing Kiwi Bradburn and his fellow coaches during training camps in the lead up to Christmas.
Ever since he was young Tom has not had to look far for sporting inspiration.
Back in 1990, before he was even born, father David was at the forefront of Scotland’s 13-7 Murrayfield rugby victory over England which clinched the Five Nations title and Grand Slam.
His oldest brother Jamie is also a handy rugby player, having once been on the books of Newcastle Falcons and now captaining Edinburgh Accies from the back-row.
Sister Gemma played netball for Scotland at Glasgow 2014 while brother Chris is also a professional cricketer with Hampshire and would have been on this Scotland tour had it not clashed with his county commitments.
So, for now playing in the same Scotland XI with seam bowler Chris will have to wait, but with the aforementioned World Cup Qualifier and then glamour matches with England and Pakistan to come in June, Tom will be keen to put down a marker during the next few weeks.
“I am delighted to be given a chance with Scotland, but I am very much aware the hard work starts now,” Tom said.
“I was playing for Grange in Edinburgh and enjoying that, but in 2016 I was given the chance to head down and play at a higher level with Northants and I jumped at it.
“It is hard to say just how far my game has come on since then, but when you are around full-time players who have played at a very high level then you cannot fail to learn things.
“I was involved with the first team a bit last summer and was delighted to get the chance to play a tour match against South Africa.
“Bowling and batting against players of that calibre for the county just made me want international caps myself even more.
“I knew that I was progressing being down south – and I am delighted that I will be at Northants this coming summer too having secured another deal – but I felt like I had to get myself in front of the Scotland coaching staff a bit more to try and get into their thoughts ahead of what could be a busy 2018.
“So, after the season finished a few months back I was invited up to train with the Scotland guys and that has been great.
“I have been able to spend a lot more one-on-one time with particular coaches working on things while Grant has been able to watch me and thankfully I have been selected for this tour.
“Of course there are a few guys missing from this travelling party due to other commitments and such like, so by the time the World Cup Qualifier and the summer matches come round there will be loads of competition.
“I just have to try and take my chance if it comes on this tour and then go from there really.”
Scotland’s UAE tour fixtures:
January 16: ODI, Scotland v Ireland, ICC Academy
January 18: ODI, Scotland v Ireland, ICC Academy
January 21: ODI, UAE v Scotland, ICC Academy
January 23: ODI, UAE v Scotland, ICC Academy