THE Isle of Wight-born granddad of a potential county cricket star of the future is confident the teenager will break into Hampshire’s first team this season.

Josh Croom, the 18-year old grandson of Graham Daish, one of the Island’s most successful football managers of all time, has just signed professional forms for Hampshire County Cricket Club, while playing Grade cricket in South Australia.

Isle of Wight County Press: Graham Daish was a decent footballer and one of the Island's most successful managers.Graham Daish was a decent footballer and one of the Island's most successful managers.

The 6ft 4in left arm fast bowler, who has been playing for South Wilts in the Southern League, is currently enjoying a purple patch in form for Glenelg Cricket Club in Adelaide.

His bowling figures of 2-12, 4-31 and 7-23 for the seconds recently catapulted him into the first team — an unusual pick for an English cricketer at Grade A level, the highest in Australia.

Isle of Wight County Press: Josh Croom signing for Hampshire.Josh Croom signing for Hampshire.

Josh, who also attends the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy, grabbed the headlines — rising to the occasion to grab figures of 4-19 off ten accurate overs against Port Adelaide on Saturday.

On his return to England, Josh will join the Hampshire Academy to pursue his dream of playing first class cricket on March 31.

Josh, of Salisbury and whose mum, Karen Croom, hails from East Cowes, was clocked as the fastest bowler for his age in the country when he was 13.

Josh’s Island-born grandfather, Graham, who moved to Salisbury to be close to his family, was delighted with the teenager’s progress.

“When he made it into the Glenelg first team, Australian one day international, Kane Richardson, texted Josh to congratulate him,” said Graham.

“He was selected to bowl against the Australian team, between T-20 matches, when based at the Ageas Bowl, then selected to be in their bubble for three weeks as a bowler, between tests, when Australia played India in Adelaide.

“Josh struck up some good friendships with them.

“I’m very proud of what he has achieved so far. I reckon he will make it into the Hampshire first team before the season is out.”

It was ex-Ventnor and Hampshire cricketer, Mark Garaway, who spotted Josh’s potential during a coaching course with Andrew Strauss in St Lucia.

Mark, the director of cricket at prestigious Millfield School in Somerset, was delighted when Josh became a pupil there and has enjoyed seeing his remarkable progress as a bowler.

He said: “It is so amazing, yet not at all surprising, to see Josh doing so well. He is certainly on an upward development curve and I am fascinated to see where he ends up.

“The stock price for left arm pace bowlers has never been higher.”