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Last Updated: Friday, 25 May 2007, 19:30 GMT 20:30 UK
Glamorgan tyro eyes testing time
James Harris' 12-118 against Gloucestershire took him into the record books
Harris' 12-118 at Gloucestershire took him into the record books
Glamorgan's James Harris entered the history books last week when he became the youngest player to take 10 or more wickets in a County Championship match.

The seamer turned 17 last Wednesday on the opening morning of the Division Two match with Gloucestershire in Bristol.

Harris took 7-66 in the hosts' first innings, following that up with 5-52 to finish with match figures of 12-118.

"I've got confidence and back myself but I didn't expect to do that well - it was a bit special," he said.

"I can bowl better but it may never happen again, cricket is a great leveller and I know the next game may not go so well."

Despite his haul, the match ended in a draw as Glamorgan were denied a much-needed first competitive win of the season.

"If it had not been for the rain and bad light then perhaps we should have won that game," Harris told BBC Wales.

"I'd have gladly given up some of my wickets if we would have won, but we're not playing that badly and it won't take much to progress."

There was little sign of progress on Thursday as Glamorgan again slumped in the LV Championship, losing inside two days and then having eight points docked for a substandard pitch.

Middlesex beat Glamorgan at Swansea by an innings and two runs, with Harris a frustrated observer from the 'sidelines' of his Pontarddulais home.

There was no injury drama such as county colleague Simon Jones has suffered of late, and no fears over the youngster's stamina either.

James Harris
I do look at people like Glenn McGrath and take little bits but basically my action is natural

James Harris

Instead Harris had to put aside his cricketing exploits and get down to exam revision, the fate of a schoolboy sporting prodigy.

Harris is in the midst of taking AS Levels in Psychology, PE and Business Studies.

The last exam is scheduled for 5 June and Harris will fit in his final studying in between playing for Glamorgan in their Championship game with Essex at Swansea.

A Levels will cause the same disruption next season and Harris has not ruled out a university course to follow.

"Obviously I'd like to be playing for Glamorgan, but these things have to be done and I have to get my qualifications first," Harris said.

The right-arm seamer was forced to skip one lesson while handing out his own to Gloucestershire's batsmen - his first session of driving instruction.

"My mum wasn't very happy as she had to cancel my first driving lesson, which was on my birthday last Wednesday!" Harris said.

"But I had my first on Monday and it went well, so fingers-crossed I'll sort that out soon, get on the road and stop relying on my family to give me lifts to training."

Harris says that as far as his bowling goes he puts his faith in natural ability and has resisted well-meaning attempts to remodel his action along a text-book's guidelines.

The youngster instead prefers to tweak his style by watching other players, choosing the metronomic accuracy of the likes of Australian great Glenn McGrath as a guideline rather than that of flashier pacemen.

"My action has been pretty natural to me, I haven't tried to model myself on anybody but I've looked at people and tried to take things from them," Harris admitted.

"I do look at people like McGrath and take little bits but basically it's natural to me."

While no one has yet tried to compare Harris to any of the Test greats, he has already been marked as a future international.

Team-mate Mike Powell has publicly dubbed Harris 'the cricketing Wayne Rooney' in a tongue-in-cheek newspaper column comparing him with the England and Manchester United footballer, who also burst onto the scene aged 17.

Harris may one day find his name up in lights at Old Trafford, albeit the one that sits on Talbot Road rather than Sir Matt Busby Way, but the Welshman says that day is some way off.

"My aim is to play Test cricket for England, but it's a bit early to be talking about that yet, I've only played a couple of Championship games," Harris said.

"But that's all in the future and I'll take it one step at a time."

BBC Sport Wales coverage
24 Dec 06 |  Wales
Middlesex complete Glamorgan rout
24 May 07 |  Counties
Glamorgan teen in historic haul
18 May 07 |  Counties
Teenager set for Glamorgan record
08 Aug 06 |  Glamorgan


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