James Henry Wharton
- Date of birth: 1st February 2001
- Role: Right-handed batsman, right-arm off spin
- County Cap:
- County Debut:
- First Class:
For those who saw James Wharton bat in his Vitality Blast appearances towards the end of 2020, there was something very noticeable. His similarity in set up at the crease to England Test captain Joe Root.
Wharton, now aged 20, was handed his maiden first-team opportunity in two Blast clashes, debuting in a Roses defeat at Emerald Headingley last September.
He posted scores of four and eight, and would have played more but for a broken finger. Still, there was enough time to notice the comparison to Root, who it was quickly pointed out is the youngster’s cricketing hero.
Wharton’s main role whilst progressing through the various teams has been as an opening batsman.
And like Root, he is no stranger to a big score.
He scored a notable 162 in a friendly against Leicestershire seconds in 2018, his highest recorded score to date.
Huddersfield-born, he first represented Yorkshire at Under 14s level in 2014.
He was put onto a rookie contract at Headingley ahead of 2020.
Wharton has represented Yorkshire at Under 14s, 15s, 16s and 17s, and debuted for the Academy in 2017 and the second team in 2018. That aforementioned 162 came in only his second appearance for the White Rose seconds at Kibworth in September 2018.
He learnt his trade at Scholes Cricket Club in the Huddersfield League, and he has also had England North representative honours at Under 15s and Under 17s.
He was educated at Holmfirth High School and Greenhead College in Huddersfield.
Wharton captained the Academy side on 12 occasions in 2018 and 2019.
A particularly encouraging sign comes when you study his career statistics so far. He has posted three centuries – two for Yorkshire’s Under 17s and that one against Leicester seconds. And all of them having been big hundreds; 146, 152 and 162.
Fingers crossed, that trend continues. If it does, he may well get to play alongside his hero in an England shirt one day, let alone just for Yorkshire.