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Squad Number - 80
Player Sponsor - TBC
Born - Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, April 26, 1992.
Joined - Leicestershire 2011
Role - Left Handed Batsman, Slow left arm spinner
Teams Represented - Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire
Highlights of Career - First XI debut
Players Admired - Shane Warne, Claude Henderson
Relaxations - Watching Norwich City FC
Slow left arm spinner James Sykes has made a real impression in his Leicestershire career to date. The 21-year-old has signed a new deal to keep him at Grace Road until at least the end of the 2015 season.
In 2012, the spinner held his own in tourist games against West Indies and Australia, played seven CB40 games and also had a terrific FL t20 debut at Nottinghamshire.
On an afternoon where the bowlers struggled, Sykes took 2-24 from his allocation from the Pavilion End at Trent Bridge, including the wicket of former Leicestershire favourite James Taylor.
The spinner also finished with seven List A wickets and an impressive economy rate. His best spell was 3-39 during a win against then group leaders Netherlands at Amstelveen.
Sykes also shone in the second team in 2012, including a five-wicket haul in the Final against Kent, and that built on an outstanding 2011 where he picked up 59 wickets in all competitions. The tweaker took eleven wickets and registered a half-century in an outstanding performance during the Championship win at Durham.
Sykes started the 2013 season in the YB40 side and, following an unfortunate injury to Jigar Naik, was given his Leicestershire first-class debut at Essex. He went on to play six further matches, picking up 12 wickets in total.
The slow left armer snared a four-wicket haul on his bow at Chelmsford and picked up some big wickets in other matches, including experienced duo Simon Katich and Murray Goodwin. The experience Sykes gained in the seven LV=CC games will be invaluable to his development.
Sykes, who came through the youth system of the Huntingdonshire Cricket Board, also played in the FL t20 win at Derbyshire. He ended the season back in the YB40 team and bowled particularly well in a good game against Middlesex at Lord's. Sykes showed no sign of nerves on the day; he picked up the wicket of England international Joe Denly and ended with figures of 1-44 off his allocation.
The spinner was then given the opportunity to go to the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide, Australia, alongside teammate Ned Eckersley at the end of the season.
Sykes' career record at Leicestershire:
James Sykes 2013 (33.19 kB)