John Hastings believes Josh Tongue has got “a massive future in the game” and is backing the entire crop of young fast bowlers at Worcestershire to all become first team regulars in the not too distant future.

Hastings, the County’s 2017 overseas player, worked at close hand with the likes of Tongue, George Scrimshaw and Pat Brown and is impressed with their potential.

Tongue has often highlighted the impact on his game of Hastings who sadly has been forced to retire from first class and ODI cricket through injury.

The Australian all-rounder said: “The young group moving forward. I think they made some good gains this last season.

“There are some great young players – Scrimshaw, Brown, Tonguey. The signs are positive.I think they will be first team regulars in two or three years.

“There are a great group of fast bowlers at Worcester. That is the catalyst moving forward. They are the ones you will look to hang your hat on in a few years for sure.

“I think also Joe Clarke is going to be a world class cricketer. It’s exciting for the club.”

Tongue ended his first full season of first team cricket with 47 wickets after bouncing back strongly from his stress fracture of the back.

Hastings said: “I was really proud of the way he went about it. I just remember myself as a young bowler, coming through….you’ve got to learn to bowl through certain types of pain and you’ve got to learn to bowl in different conditions.

“It can be a hard thing for a young bowler but I think he took to it very, very well, almost like a seasoned pro.

“He has got a massive future in the game. I like to see young kids do well in the game and, for a 19-year-old kid, he is something really special.”