From Leith Links to Lord’s is a mighty leap, but it is a journey already undertaken by Mark Watt – a 17-year-old left arm off-spin bowler in the Heriot’s team which tomorrow entertains Carlton in the East Cricket Premiership.
Soon after quitting a football career at Spartans due to injury and to concentrate on cricket, Watt decided to step up to Heriot’s and hasn’t looked back, to the extent of acting as 12th man to a Scotland team which faced MCC at the game’s ancestral home in April.
“I’d love to have played, but just the experience of being around such a professional Scottish team and soaking up the Lord’s atmosphere was so special,” said the lad who is preparing to leave Trinity Academy and plans a stint playing in Australia during the winter.
It wasn’t the first brush with the big time either for a lad whose dad, John, still turns out on the links for Leith FAB.
Last year saw Mark act as a net bowler to the mighty Australians during preparation for an ODI with Scotland at Raeburn Place.
“If asked who the best ‘scalp’ I’ve taken is, I’d say Mitchell Johnson – although I don’t know if it really counts.
“He hit three successive deliveries from me over a wall and then I nicked his stump. I got a bit of stick, too, from Aaron Finch, but it was all part of a huge learning experience.”
Watt was soon on his way to Dubai with Scotland’s under-19 World Cup team who had India at 19-5 before they recovered to win. Latterly the emphasis has been on domestic fare as a member of the Highlanders squad which won the North Sea Pro Series featuring Dutch opposition.
“Playing alongside the top Scots will hopefully help if ever I achieve my goal of playing for Scotland,” he says.
Many shrewd judges feel it is only a matter of time for a lad whose team have Steve Knox back tomorrow.
Zander Muir makes a seasonal re-appearance for Mazars Grange at Aberdeenshire in a match where Nick Farrar (ex Stirling) debuts for the visitors.
Watsonians await Arbroath with Mike Carson, Gus Fraser-Harris and Tom Cullen back, while SMRH visit Stoneywood Dyce with Greig Bissett still looking for a maiden century having been run out chasing an ambitious run off the final ball on 99 during a Scottish Cup win at Greenock last time out.