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Last Updated: Friday, 27 August, 2004, 13:06 GMT 14:06 UK
Wharf's quiet achievement
Alex Wharf
It was a great team effort to get me in there
Alex Wharf
For an England all-rounder who cites as his earliest sporting memory "Ian Botham's blonde mullet", Alex Wharf is not the character you might expect.

In marked contrast to Beefy, the Glamorgan player is shy, quietly spoken, and holds a distaste for the spotlight that borders on photophobia.

It has been a long road to the top for the Bradford-born 29-year-old, but even after his call-up to replace the injured Kabir Ali in England's one-day squad he was keen to divert the attention to others.

"It was a great team effort to get me in there," Wharf told BBC Sport Wales.

"It's been amazing to do so well with Glamorgan, it means people have been watching us and seeing us perform."

ALEX WHARF FACTFILE
DOB: 04-06-75
Born: Bradford
Counties: Yorkshire, Nottingham, Glamorgan
Right-arm medium-fast bowl
Right-hand bat
Wharf has played a major part in Glamorgan's one-day campaign this season, which has already seen them claim the Totesport League title.

The all-rounder took 20 wickets in that competition, his muscular action only once failing to claim a wicket in a league game.

Performance highlights have included a match-winning hat-trick against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, whilst his ability as a powerful pinch-hitter has added flexibility to the Welsh county's line-up.

His emergence as a central figure at Glamorgan will have surprised many who questioned the recruitment of an apparent journeyman back in 2000.

A former member of the Yorkshire academy, Wharf was first given a run by the White Rose county in 1994.

His opportunities were limited, though, and in 1997 he moved to Nottinghamshire.

Wharf helped Glamorgan to one-day league success
It's brilliant, I can't say any more than that
Alex Wharf
There were some useful performances in his three years at Trent Bridge, but Wharf was a bit-part player and was released at the end of 1999, prompting the productive move to Wales.

A century on his debut against Oxford University helped win over some of the doubters at Sophia Gardens, and 37 wickets in his first season won him his county cap.

A persistent heel injury hindered Wharf's progress in the next two years, but two seasons of consistent achievement in 2003 and 2004 won him a place in England's 30-man squad for the ICC Champions Trophy.

"It was great to be in the initial squad, but quite a disappointment not to make the cut," admits Wharf.

"To get a second chance is a bonus, now it's up to me to work hard and see if I get another bonus and the chance to play in the team."

As he prepares for the next, steady step up on his cricketing career, there can be no doubt that Wharf will take it deliberately in his stride.

Pressed to open his heart on his feelings at getting the national call, he commented:

"It's brilliant, I can't say any more than that."

And he didn't.




SEE ALSO
Wharf receives England call
26 Aug 04  |  Cricket


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