Hayes look to have a unearthed a true gem after Josh Frost became the youngest player in the club’s history to take all 10 wickets in a single innings.
Only three players have ever achieved the feat in more than 200 years at the club and none were close to the tender age of 13, as Frost was in a recent victory for Hayes thirds over Eastcote fourths.
The Uxbridge High School pupil dismissed the entire team to finish with staggering final bowling figures of 10-58 in the Thames Valley League Division 7B fixture.
They say hard work pays off and Frost certainly puts the hours in at the Wood End club, practising for hours after training has finished, by launching balls at an empty chair up against a fence.
His love of the sport stems from dad Chris, who has played for Hayes for 33 years and who was the youngest player to score 1,000 runs in senior cricket in a season, until his record was taken 24 months ago.
“Josh has been playing cricket since he was five years old and has been a member of Hayes CC all his life,” said dad Chris, who is now interim chairman at the club.
“Josh was advised at the age of seven by the then-head coach, Keith Wallis, to take up off-spin, as there were so many youngsters that wanted to bowl as fast as they could and this was maybe the best bit of advice he has received so far in his cricketing life.
“As parents, my wife and I are very proud.
“I have lowered my level of playing in league games to watch and play in the same team as him but this achievement has overshadowed all of my own at the club.”
Claiming 10 wickets in an innings is such a rarity that it has only ever been achieved twice in the history of Test match cricket.
England’s Jim Laker took 10-53 against Australia in July 1956 and India’s Anil Kumble grabbed 10-74 for his country against Pakistan in February 1999.
Frost has set himself a target of securing 100 wickets this term, an ambitious target for the teenager, but he’s already on 59 and has dreams of making it as a professional, like his idol Joe Root, who starred for England at the start of the Ashes last week.
“Josh would one day like to get the opportunity to become a professional cricketer,” Chris added.
“His favourite player is Joe Root. He went and watched the last day of the Lord’s test match between New Zealand and England earlier in the year, which whetted his appetite for the Ashes.
“He has planned out which sessions he will be home from school to watch!”