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Full name Stephen Peter James
Born September 7, 1967, Lydney, Gloucestershire
Current age 47 years 112 days
Major teams England, Cambridge University, Glamorgan, Mashonaland, Mashonaland Country Districts
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
|Test debut||England v South Africa at Lord's, Jun 18-21, 1998 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v Sri Lanka at The Oval, Aug 27-31, 1998 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Derbyshire v Glamorgan at Derby, Apr 18-21, 2003 scorecard|
|List A span||1987-2002|
Steve James read Classics at Swansea University before becoming a postgraduate at Cambridge where he won a cricket Blue in 1989 and 1990 and came close to winning a place in the varsity rugby side. After leaving Cambridge, James won a place as Hugh Morris' opening partner at Glamorgan and developed into an opening batsman at home in both one-day and four-day cricket. His versatility was confirmed in 1995, when he hit an unbeaten 230 at Leicester and finished the season as the country's leading run scorer in the Sunday League. Noted for quick running between the wickets and selection of deft strokes, in 1996 he aggregated 1766 runs in first-class cricket. He continued to be a prolific scorer in 1997, amassing 1775 runs at an average of 68, and the mild mannered Glamorgan opener ended the season as the country's leading runscorer. During this golden summer, James hit seven hundreds, including three in a row in August, plus a vital century in the NatWest semi-final with Essex. His fine batting was a crucial factor behind Glamorgan's Championship success, yet remarkably, James was overlooked by the England selectors.
James acted as vice-captain of the England A team in East Africa and Sri Lanka in 1997-98, and continued to be prolific in county cricket in 1998. During the series with South Africa, James, at long last, was drafted into the England side, and he won a second cap in the one-off Test with Sri Lanka. But in neither Test did he come close to recapturing his domestic form and he was discarded at the end of the summer. In 2000 as he scored 309* against Sussex - the highest score in Glamorgan's history and at the end of that summer he took over as county captain from Matthew Maynard. In his first season he guided Glamorgan to the National League Division Two title, and the following summer they won the Division One crown. But injuries were taking a toll, and in 2003 he stepped down after a long-standing knee injury left him sidelined and eventually led to his forced retirement. He subsequently moved into national journalism - he had for some time been a writer in the provincial press.
Andrew Hignell (June 2004)
A look at some of cricket's most memorable strokes - and their makers