James Sales has had a busier winter than ever before.
Having spent the start of 2022 in the Caribbean representing England at the ICC U19 World Cup and touring Sri Lanka with the same side before Christmas, the 19-year-old is now back in Northamptonshire and ready to apply that experience to his county.
“It’s been nice to have a winter away.” Sales said.
“Obviously it’s quite a bit warmer out there and it was a great experience to be able to represent my country, both in Sri Lanka and at the World Cup.
“I got to play against a lot of good players, and it was also good to be able to speak to a few South African and Australian players towards the end of the tour and bond with them a bit.”
The experience was made even more special with all of England’s World Cup matches being televised around the world.
“It was the first time [being on TV] for quite a few of our players which was nice, especially being able to have family at home watching so that we could share the experience with them”.
The Sky Sports coverage saw Graeme Swann offer a comparison of Sales’ quality and style of play to ‘a cross between Pat Cummins and Ian Botham’, something that didn’t go unnoticed back home.
“Yeah, I liked that to be fair. I did have all my friends and family joking with me and saying, ‘what is he on about here?’ but it was nice to have two great players as a comparison.”
Perhaps known more for his work with the bat, an injury within the squad meant Sales had to quickly adapt to a new role within the team, opening the bowling and batting lower down the order.
“I had to step up to the plate a little bit and it left me with quite a few overs to bowl. I’m more of an all-rounder these days, rather than just a batter but it’s something you have to take in your stride.”
“I was batting slightly further down the order, but whatever the team needs and whatever situation I play in, I just have to bat accordingly.”
After a busy six months, Sales is now fully focused on the busy summer of cricket to come at The County Ground.
“It’s been a good year for me personally, but I’ve come back to Northamptonshire and straight into the thick of things. It will be good to get back to playing with them again”.
“My focus is on trying to get back into match scenarios, take wickets, score runs and make my way into the first team as quickly as possible”.
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