Cricket: Starlet Hairs in frame for Scotland bow

OLLIE HAIRS will dash from the exam room to a potential Scotland cricket debut tomorrow after this 19-year-old Merchiston Castle school pupil, who plays for Grange, was named in a squad to face India A at Titwood, Glasgow.

Whether the Scots keep a place open in such circumstances even for such a free scoring batsman – two centuries in the premiership already this season – and insist he waits until the second instalment of the India one-dayer on Friday remains to be seen.

But Hairs will take any promotion in his stride as he made clear this week as the selectors were preparing to name a pool that also includes uncapped Watsonian Ryan Flannigan.

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"All I am focusing on is trying to continue scoring runs and put myself into contention for call-ups. Similarly if a chance of professional cricket comes along I'd like to take that, too.

"I sit my last A level on 30 June and depending on what happens when I get the results on 18 August would hope to study either a BA Sport at Durham University or Physiotherapy at York University.

"Both universities would help my cricket as well."

What makes Hairs' emergence so exciting is that he has been able to build on an encouraging 2009 season which featured his maiden premiership century. "I've spoken to Sanjay Patel (Grange captain] and also Craig Wright (Cricket Scotland performance development manager] about learning how to pace an innings better.".

"Last season I was finding my way around the premiership.

"This time round there is more emphasis on settling in at the crease and then building an innings by pushing the score along with singles," he added.

Now it appears that approach is on the brink of paying handsome dividends.