Harris smitten by Middlesex
The lure of Lord’s and top-flight cricket was a combination James Harris could not resist.
However Middlesex, whose third-placed finish in this year’s LV= County Championship was two places higher than Notts, announced on Monday they had signed Harris on a three-year deal.
The prospect of playing regularly at the home of cricket thrills Harris, who exclusively told ecb.co.uk: “It’s pretty cool. It’s not a bad thing to be able to tell people that’s now officially my place of work.”
“There was a lot of factors involved, I would say. The coaching set-up, the ground and a place to live as well, trying to marry those all together to find the best outcome, so north London,” he explained.
“Lord’s obviously was a huge factor. I walked into Lord’s on a sunny day when I went to meet them and the place was an absolute picture, so that was probably one of the real big things.
“Obviously the chance to work with Angus Fraser and Richard Johnson as well on a daily basis, two fantastic bowlers and very, very good coaches as well, which I’m hoping can help me progress my game.”
Harris, who made his first-class debut aged 16, knows self-improvement is key to his aspirations of representing England at senior level and he hopes his new surroundings will help.
“I think a new environment can be very helpful at times. I’ve just completed my sixth season in the first team. I think change is a good thing at times to keep you on your toes,” he said.
“I’m a very ambitious guy and I’ve said from the start that I want to play for England as many times as I can throughout my career. And hopefully this is a step that will ensure that happens.”
With Middlesex in mind, Harris - who has only experienced the championship’s second tier - is excited about playing meaningful games throughout the first-class summer.
“That was a big part of the move to be honest. I spoke to the selectors about playing in Division Two. They said that it didn’t matter that I was playing there,” he added.
“But I think playing in big games every week of the season whether it be going for the championship or trying to stay in the division come to the end of the summer, I think that is going to be the biggest thing and that’s going to be the biggest point that’s going to help me improve my game.”