PROMISING young all-rounder Tom Prest has signed his first professional contract with Hampshire Cricket.

Prest, 18, cut his teeth with Dorset at Minor Counties level in 2019 and 2020.

The order batsman and off-spinner made his first-team breakthrough this summer and signs for Hampshire on a deal until the end of the 2024 season.

Prest showed maturity beyond his years in only his third senior appearance in July to hit an unbeaten 59 in the Vitality Blast. This came after his remarkable unbeaten triple century in Hampshire’s Second XI Championship match against Sussex.

The Dorset-based all-rounder also contributed a vital 44 in the Vitality Blast quarter-final against Nottinghamshire Outlaws at Trent Bridge to help Hampshire Hawks reach an eighth Vitality Blast Finals Day.

Prest added another 281 runs in five innings for the Hawks’ Academy, including a sensational 228 in 155 balls against Surrey.

READ MORE: What does it take to play cricket for Dorset?

Hampshire director of cricket Giles White said: “Tom is a talented all-rounder and he will be hoping to build on a promising start to push for a place across all formats.

“He’s impressed everyone in a short space of time and if he’s able to continue to develop he has an exciting future ahead of him.”

Prest said: “It’s something I always dreamed of growing up. It’s a really exciting time at Hampshire right now and it makes it an extra special feeling to sign a contract for your home club.

“Charlie (Freeston), Tony (Middleton) and Jimmy (Adams) have been pivotal in my development and I’m just really grateful for all they’ve done.

“To gain some first-team experience this season has been valuable and it was really pleasing to put in a couple of good performances in the Vitality Blast. Hopefully over time I can become more consistent at that level and contribute in all formats.”

Prest came through the Hampshire age-group system and has featured heavily for the club over a number of seasons in CAG, Academy and second XI cricket.

In 2019, Prest gained selection for the National Super 4’s competition a year young and played a major role in all the teams he represented.

Prest finish the 2020 season as Hampshire Academy’s leading runs-scorer with seven fifties and two centuries as a 17-year-old in the Southern Premier League.

Prest made 16 first-team appearances this season and most recently he was named in the England Men’s Young Lions squad for their tour to Sri Lanka later this month.