James Whitaker is a former county cricketer best known for his time at Leicestershire CCC which spanned almost two decades. A former England player, Whitaker played a solitary Test Match to go along with two One Day Internationals for his nation. Whitaker’s one and only Test appearance came during the 1986-87 Ashes Series and he eventually went on to the Chairman of Selectors for the England and Wales Cricket Board. A thoroughly distinguished cricketing personality who is held in the highest regard, James Whitaker works extensively as a cricket speaker in a number of events across the country.
Born in Yorkshire, James Whitaker joined Leicestershire in 1983 and remained with the club until his retirement in 1999. An incredibly decorated career during his time at Grace Road, Whitaker was a vital member of the team who led Leicestershire to become a leading force in English domestic cricket. The Leicestershire CCC captain in between 1996 and 1999, Whitaker enjoyed a purple patch in his career in 1986 when he scored a staggering 1,526 runs in the season at an average of 66 leading to his selection for England. During his work as a cricket speaker James often discusses his time playing for Leicestershire along with the honour of representing his country alongside his disappointment about being unable to build on his solitary Test appearance.
Whitaker’s long allegiance with the Leicestershire CCC has made him a popular cricket speaker at team and club events, James is regularly called upon to appear the clubs after dinner speakers’ functions and remembered fondly by many fans. In his capacity as a cricket speaker, Whitaker not only recalls such career highlights but also comments upon the current state of both domestic and international cricket, providing his insight into batting styles and players’ talents as well as demonstrating his own genuine passion for the sport.
Following his retirement James Whitaker became a cricket speaker and coach for the England national team, eventually leaving the squad in 2005. Alongside this Whitaker has become involved in the national team’s selection process and in 2013 was made Chairman of England’s selection committee, a post he held until 2018; as such Whitaker is often called upon to appear on television and in the press and frequently discusses his duties and the prospects of the England national team in his work as an after dinner speaker. Whitaker’s knowledge of administration and managerial positions in cricket allow him to provide content that will resonate with business people as well as sports fans.
A thoroughly impressive career in the game, James Whitaker compiled over 25,000 runs in his professional playing career before his appointment in a crucial role for English cricket. An elegant batsman who was able to adapt to situations and exuded drive and determination, qualities that are pertinent to any walk of life, James is a wonderful cricket speaker. The former England batsman and former Chairman of Selectors, James Whitaker is available to hire as a cricket speaker for any event or function and is certain to be a fantastic addition to any occasion.