Whittingham – ‘Over the Moon’ after Scotland Call Up

Gary Heatly speaks to one of the new faces named in Scotland's squad against Sri Lanka, fast bowler Stuart Whittingham

Lizzie Sleet @CricketScotland
May 19, 2017 6 years

Growing up in Derby and Sussex Stuart Whittingham was well aware of his Scottish roots – and the 23-year-old seamer cannot wait to be involved with Grant Bradburn’s squad in the coming days.

The Scots take on Sri Lanka in Beckenham, Kent, on Sunday and next Tuesday and it will be a great test for them against a full member nation.

Whittingham has come into the 14-man party having impressed in his County Championship outings for Sussex last summer.

Indeed he may have been involved with the full national team earlier that this weekend if it had not been for a bulging disc in his back requiring an operation towards the tail end of the 2016 season.

However, he is fully fit now and excited about meeting up with the rest of the squad and hitting the ground running ahead of a crucial few months for Scotland.

“My mum’s side of the family are all from Glasgow originally and although they relocated to Derby they certainly made sure growing up that I knew all about the Scottish link while dad was in a Scottish army regiment so there were a lot of kilts and things around the house,” Whittinghaam explained.

“When I was about seven the family moved from Derby to Sussex because of my dad’s job and it was when we got down there that I started to play cricket and it soon became my favourite game.

“I became involved in the Sussex set-up from the under-10 age-grade group onwards and was in and out of that system through my teens.

“When I finished school I headed up to Loughborough University to study history and politics, but I also knew there was a great cricket programme there which would help take my game to the next level.

“The facilities there are amazing and we played against some good opposition, so as a fast bowler I learnt a lot in my three years there.”

In 2014 Whittingham was given his first Scotland call-up for the under-19 World Cup in the UAE.

The right arm fast bowler, who can swing the ball, played in two of the warm-up matches, but was not picked for any of the encounters in the tournament.

He recounts: “It was great to play for Scotland for the first time, but obviously I was frustrated not to play more.

“At the time I was pretty annoyed and maybe did not react in the right way, but I was young and in the long-term the experience has served me well because you have to learn how to deal with not being picked and come back stronger.

“It was a great bunch of boys in that under-19 squad and Chris Sole and Gavin Main who are in the current Scotland squad with me were also on that trip.”

Since graduating from university, Whittingham has been on the books of Sussex and is now on a full-time pro contract.

“Last summer was brilliant for me, I managed to break into the first team and I played in six county championship matches,” he stated.

“That really brought me on as a cricketer and I think I would have got more first team action if it was not for the injury.

“However, this summer has started well for me and I was over the moon to get the call from Scotland telling me they wanted me to join them for these Sri Lanka matches.

“We know that they are a quality side and will be big favourites against us, but if we can click and put in two good performances then who knows.

“Whatever happens it will be a great experience for the lads and for me having the games in Beckenham is handy because it is just down the road!

“I have played there before and it is a nice ground while my family are super proud to see me selected and I want to go out and do a good job for them and Scotland.”

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