Could James Coles Be The New Star For Sussex County Cricket Club?
James Coles of Sussex. Never heard the name before? Rightly so, he is only 16 years of age. So what makes him so special?
The Bob Willis Trophy has been the saviour of red-ball domestic cricket in 2020. Just when it seemed no play would be possible, along came the new format with three regionalised groups to save the day.
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Not only has it provided the cricketing purists with the purest form of the game, but it has also allowed counties to blood some of its most exciting and in some cases youngest prospects.
What a spell from our youngest ever player! 👏
16-year-old James Coles gets the better of Jamie Smith and Rory Burns in the space of four balls! 😲 pic.twitter.com/b7zkn7QNQ2
— Sussex Cricket (@SussexCCC) September 9, 2020
None more so than James Coles of Sussex, who at 16 years old made his first-class debut this week against Surrey at the Oval. So young and unknown is he, he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page, for now.
Coles, a right-handed batsman who bowls left-arm spin has been part of Oxfordshire’s youth and regional representative sides whilst winning a plethora of awards for someone so young.
Accolades And Awards
His accolades already include Oxford Junior Sportsman of the Year award, Sir John ‘Jack’ Hobbs Silver Jubilee Memorial Prize, and the Gray-Nicolls Trophy 2019 for the year’s most improved schoolboy cricketer. Not bad going too date.
Coles also took the well known Bunbury Festival by storm. The place where many of England’s finest first came to the attention was water off a ducks back to the Sussex teenager – scoring 448 runs at an average of 112 from six innings, named Player of the Tournament in the process.
What a talent!
— County Championship (@CountyChamp) September 9, 2020
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On his senior Oxfordshire debut in 2020, Coles made a century against Buckinghamshire. This, further confirming the prestigious talent the south coast county had on their hands – as if they needed it.
Whilst his first-class debut mightn’t have gone how he had dreamt on Saturday night with the bat, managing 21 runs across his two knocks the youngster showed glimpses of his ability with some fine shots, clearly not overawed despite his tender age.
Coles provided more than useful overs with the ball, ending with match figures of 13-0-35-3, his first wicket at the level coming in the first innings with the beautiful dismissal of recent England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
The Future For James Coles And Sussex
With Sussex’s red ball now at an end, Coles will have a winter to go away and further advance his skillset, a frighteningly good prospect who could be set for a big 2021 campaign, hopefully in more normal circumstances.
At just 16 years of age, James Coles could provide Sussex with a star all-rounder for the future, should be nurtured properly.
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