Sam McFarlane Whiteman, born on March 19, 1992, is a cricketer with a unique story. Born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, he emigrated with his family to Western Australia at a young age. Sam Whiteman, who is currently contracted to Western Australia and the Sydney Thunder, has shown his skills as a left-handed batsman and wicket-keeper.
Early Life and Roots
Whiteman’s journey began in Doncaster, but it was in Western Australia where he would find his true calling. Raised in Bunbury, in the state’s south-west region, he was introduced to cricket at an early age. His potential shone brightly when he toured England with an Australian Schools under-16 representative team during the 2007 English cricket season at the age of 15.
Representative Cricket and Development
Sam Whiteman’s cricketing talent was evident as he represented Western Australia at both under-17 and under-19 levels. He also had the privilege of playing for the Australian under-19 cricket team in 2009, taking on the Indian and Sri Lankan under-19 teams. In recognition of his promising talent, he received the Adam Gilchrist Cricket Development Scholarship in 2010.
This scholarship afforded him the opportunity to spend the 2010 season playing for the Weybridge Cricket Club in the Surrey Championship, England. He also played several Second XI matches for the Surrey County Cricket Club. Notably, he led Weybridge’s runs totals during the season, amassing 572 runs at an impressive average of 44.00.
Taking the Professional Leap
After proving his mettle in grade cricket, Whiteman received a Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) rookie contract for the 2012–13 season. His debut for Western Australia came in the 2012–13 Ryobi One-Day Cup against New South Wales, where he contributed 31 runs.
The highlight of his early career came when he scored his first half-century, making 74 runs in a Ryobi Cup match against South Australia. During this period, he also managed to secure his highest score at the first-class level, a remarkable 96 runs while opening the batting against Tasmania in November 2012.
Though initially played as a specialist batsman, Whiteman soon transitioned into a wicket-keeper role, becoming Western Australia’s first-choice wicket-keeper. His talent wasn’t confined to state-level matches; he also played for the Rockingham-Mandurah District Cricket Club, making his first-grade debut during the 2007–08 season at the age of 15.
Australia A and First-Class Success
In April 2014, Sam Whiteman’s career took a significant step forward when he was selected in the Australia A squad for the 2014 off-season. This decision came with the responsibility of facing India A and South Africa A in series. His moment of glory arrived in July 2014 when he scored an impressive 174 runs, even while batting eighth in Australia’s first innings. This remarkable performance marked his first century at the first-class level.
Whiteman etched his name in Australian cricket history when he, along with Mitchell Marsh, set a record-breaking partnership. They put on a staggering 371 runs for the seventh wicket, an Australian record and the second-highest seventh-wicket partnership ever recorded. Their remarkable achievement surpassed records that had stood for decades, cementing Whiteman’s place in the annals of Australian cricket.
Challenges and Comebacks
Like many cricketers, Sam Whiteman faced his fair share of challenges, including injuries. He suffered a serious hand injury while keeping wickets to the legendary Mitchell Johnson in the Big Bash League final. This injury led to multiple surgeries and a year-long recovery process. However, the passion for cricket and his resilience kept him going.
In 2018, Whiteman made his comeback to the Scorchers squad as a batsman. He honed his skills by playing a couple of games for WA Premier Cricket side Fremantle and returned to the Big Bash League, playing two matches in Big Bash 7.
Sam Whiteman’s journey in cricket is a testament to his dedication, talent, and perseverance. As he continues to represent Western Australia and the Sydney Thunder, his story serves as an inspiration to aspiring cricketers, demonstrating that with determination and resilience, one can overcome challenges and achieve success in the world of cricket.