Rich Locke has backed Fraser Hay to become a star at Hampshire.
The Ageas Bowl outfit this week announced the signing of the 20-year-old all-rounder for the 2017 campaign.
Hay starred for Portsmouth in Southern Premier League division one this summer – scoring 664 runs at an average of 47.43 and taking 26 wickets at 19.69.
Based in Perth, Western Australia but with a British passport, he also caught the eye in 12 appearances for Hampshire’s second string.
And Locke has seen enough to believe the county have a very promising player on their hands.
The Portsmouth skipper said: ‘He played really well for us throughout summer.
‘He proved he’s a mature all rounder who has a good knowledge of the game.’
Hay has returned to Australia after his stint with Portsmouth.
And he has made a flying start to the campaign Down Under with first grade Melville in Perth – recording an unbeaten 116 in his latest outing.
However, Locke is hoping it is not the last Portsmouth have seen of the all-rounder.
He added: ‘Where he has an Australian pedigree, he works hard and is the type of player we wanted at Portsmouth.
‘We hope he could return to the club if he has the time outside of his Hampshire commitments.’
Hay’s British passport will mean he is available to Hampshire in every form of the game.
The Ageas Bowl outfit avoided relegation to County Championship division two when Durham were demoted after financial problems.
Hampshire director of cricket Giles White said: ‘We’re pleased to sign Fraser on a summer contract next year.
‘He has a lot to offer with both bat and ball and we’re looking forward to having him on board for the 2017 season.’
Meanwhile, Hay is thrilled at the prospect of linking up with Hampshire again.
He said: ‘I’m excited to get this opportunity.
‘I thoroughly enjoyed my time as part of the second XI last summer.
‘I’m looking forward to continue learning and working over the next year and hopefully contributing to future success.’