Prest, who only turned 18 at the end of March, is set for an extended run in the Hawks’ Royal London Cup squad due to the unavailability of James Vince, having made an encouraging start to his career in the Vitality Blast.
The young right-hander showed just why he is so highly rated by Hampshire’s coaching staff after steering his side to victory over Gloucestershire with an unbeaten 59 in only his third match, writes BRUCE TALBOT.
He was then drafted in for his first-class debut mid-match against Surrey after Vince's England call-up following a Covid-19 outbreak in the one-day squad.
Prest set tongues wagging around the county circuit earlier this season when he became the first player in Hampshire history to score a triple century for the second XI and the first in the competition since a young Marcus Trescothick for Somerset in 1997.
That remarkable innings against Sussex came just hours after he had sat a geography A-Level exam at Canford School in Wimborne.
Second team coach Adams said that knock merely underlined what many at the club already knew about the Dorset-born youngster.
‘Charlie Freeston, our academy coach, has said he's as confident as he has ever been about a young player having the tools to kick on and have a successful career,’ Adams said.
‘There is so much that can happen, but if you were to look at him as a package now he is hugely promising and everybody at our place is rightly excited about where he can take his cricket.’
After making only one on his Blast debut against Somerset, Prest then top-scored with 20 in a low-scoring defeat by Surrey before starring against Gloucestershire with an innings that belied his tender years.
Batting at three, Prest held the innings together following the dismissals of big guns D'Arcy Short, Vince and Colin de Grandhomme then marshalled the tail to help his side post a match-winning total.
Prest joins an illustrious list of teenagers to have debuted for Hampshire that includes Gordon Greenidge, Vince, Liam Dawson and Chris Tremlett, and Adams believes he can play at the highest level.
‘As exciting as his cricket skills are there is something about his level-headedness and humility. He is constantly looking to strive and to learn,’ Adams said.
‘We are pretty excited with the progress he has made and what the future can be. There are so many ups and downs in cricket, but I would be confident that Presty has the technical and mind skills to ride the rollercoaster that can sometimes hit us as players.’
Despite being dismissed for a second-ball duck in Hampshire’s opening Royal London Cup loss to Essex last Thursday, Prest is expected to remain as opener when Sussex visit The Ageas Bowl on Tuesday (11am).