The Herald - Herald Sport
Young-gun Jarvis keen to make name for himself
Twenty-year-old is not happy just to be in Scotland squad, he aims to grab his chance
THERE is a neat irony that Jack Jarvis finds himself being teased for sharing a name with an old duffer off the telly when he is one of Scottish cricket’s youngest and brightest stars. “You go out to bat and people will say, ‘Where’s Victor today?’ and that kind of chat,” reveals the all-rounder, referring to the ubiquitous Still Game banter that tends to follow him around. “You get used to it after a while.”
Jarvis, though, is now determined to make a name for himself. Selected in the Scotland squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifier after just a solitary one-day appearance this year, much is expected of the 20 year-old.
With county players such as Michael Jones unavailable and senior figures Kyle Coetzer and Calum MacLeod having hung up their bats, there is an onus now on the younger ones to come through and stake their place. Jarvis did not have to be asked twice.
Youth will be no excuse when Scotland get to Zimbabwe for group stage matches against Ireland, Sri Lanka, Oman and UAE as they look to book their place at this year’s 50-over World Cup in India. Jarvis will be expected to score runs and take wickets and he does not shy away from that pressure.
“I always had the hope of playing for Scotland one day, although it’s maybe happened slightly sooner than I had maybe expected,” he says. “That doesn’t mean I’m not ready for it as it’s all come from hard work over the years.
“Playing in the qualifier will be another new experience for me but watching the guys over the last few years and how they’ve gone against the big guns – the full member nations – gives us confidence as a team. Doug Watson has come in as interim coach but he’s been preaching the same message as
Shane Burger before him in terms of looking for us to play in a positive fashion.
“There are few of us coming through into the squad at the same time and we’ll all be looking to make our mark when we get the chance. It’s not a case of just being happy to be there.”
His maiden trip to Nepal – when Scotland wrapped up the Cricket World League 2 title – at the start of the year might have been intimidating for some but the former Scotland under-19 star relished every moment as he rubbed shoulders with senior figures like Richie Berrington, Michael Leask and Coetzer, soaking up the whole experience.
“Nepal was a really cool place to go first of all,” he adds. “And then being part of the squad and getting the chance to make my debut in front of 20,000 people is something I’ll never forget. I did get a ligament tear on my ankle during the game but even that didn’t take the shine away from getting my first cap.
“I’d been around the squad a bit beforehand bowling to them in the nets at training so I knew a lot of them from doing that and the club cricket scene as well. That made the transition a lot less intimidating. There were still nerves ahead of my debut but the rest of the guys made it a lot easier.”
Jarvis’ story began at Livingston, not one of Scottish cricket’s more high-profile clubs but still a valued community asset like so many around the country. Under the watchful eye of dad Neil, Jake blossomed as a young player of undoubted promise. His talent later earned him a scholarship at Loretto School and a move to Grange but he remains grateful for that grounding at Livingston.
“I got into cricket through just watching my dad play, then playing in the garden and public parks,”
explains Jarvis, who is also studying for a business in sport degree at Napier University. “I then got my first real chance at Livingston and I’ll always be grateful for that. Clubs like that just underline the message that cricket is for everyone. I went back to do some coaching there in the past when I could and I still always check how they’re getting on and hope they’re doing well.”
Sadly, Jarvis’ dad passed away at the end of 2020 at the age of just 54 and remains sorely missed by all at Livingston CC but most keenly by his family. Neil will be in Jack’s thoughts when he takes to the field in Bulawayo over the next few weeks.
“It would have been great for my dad to have seen me play for Scotland and I do think about him a lot,” he adds. “He did so much for me growing up, taking me all around the country, helping me practise and just being really encouraging. I wouldn’t have been anywhere near this level without him. And in a way I feel like he’s still here with me.”
I always had the hope of playing for Scotland one day, although it’s maybe happened slightly sooner than I had maybe expected. That doesn’t mean I’m not ready