James Coles: Sussex CCC’s 16-Year-Old Sensation

James Coles made a bright debut for Sussex CCC vs Surrey CCC in the Bob Willis Trophy 2020
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 08: James Coles of Sussex is congratulated by Captain Ben Brown after taking the wicket of Surrey's Ben Foakes during day three of the Bob Willis Trophy match between Surrey and Sussex at The Kia Oval on September 08, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

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.

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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.

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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.

Rory Burns and Ben Brown toss the coin in the game between Sussex CCC and Surrey CCC
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 06: Surrey Captain Rory Burns of Surrey performs the toss with Sussex Captain Ben Brown during day one of the Bob Willis Trophy match between Surrey and Sussex at The Kia Oval on September 06, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images for Surrey CCC)

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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