Sales says it is 'pretty special' as he signs two-year deal at Northants

James Sales says it 'pretty special' that he is able to follow in his father's footsteps by signing his first professional contract with Northants.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 11:02 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 11:04 am
All-rounder James Sales has signed a two-year professional contract at Northants

The 18-year-old academy graduate is the son of former County batsman and skipper David, who spent his entire 20-year playing career at Wantage Road.

Sales Jnr has put pen to paper on a two-year deal at the County Ground, putting the icing on the cake of a breakthrough summer that saw him make his debut for the club in both first-class and 50-over cricket.

“It feels really good to have signed my first pro contract.” said Sales..

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James Sales' father, David, played more than 500 matches for Northants and was captain of the club

“It’s been a goal of mine since I was young, so it almost feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.”

Sales' dad made more than 500 appearances for Northants so is going to be a tough act to follow, but the teenage all-rounder is looking forward to carving out a career of his own.

“I’m trying to make myself known in the game as James Sales rather than being David Sales’ son," he said.

“Dad’s career at Northamptonshire obviously lasted 20 years and I’ve been playing at Northants since I was 9, so to carry it on is pretty special.”

Sales impressed in his first team performances in 2021, particularly in the Championship.

He held his nerve to hit the winning runs in two-wicket win for Northants against Surrey on his debut, and then posted a superb maiden half century while securing an unlikely draw against Durham in the next game.

“It’s always nice to contribute, particularly when you’ve just joined a team," said Sales.

“It’s what I’m there to do at the end of the day and to get the team over the line in one of them meant even more.”

To play in that Surrey encounter, Sales gave up the chance to represent his country as he had been called up to play for England Under-19s in a one-day series against the West Indies.

He instead answered head coach David Ripley's call to play for Northants, and he is glad he did.

“Of course it would have been nice to make my England Under 19 debut," said Sales.

"But I was extremely happy and excited when I was recalled to Northamptonshire and got the opportunity to represent my county.

“Hopefully I’ll get another opportunity with the Under 19s again soon.”