RISING star James Coles made history today as he became the youngest Sussex player to appear in first-class cricket.

The Oxfordshire youngster, 16, scored 11 off 39 balls as he made his debut on day two of their Bob Willis Trophy match against Surrey.

Coles, who plays club cricket for Aston Rowant, came in at six and helped Sussex reach 415 all out. 

It continues a golden summer for the all-rounder, after he scored a century on his senior Oxon debut against Buckinghamshire last month.

Coles, a pupil at Oxford's Magdalen College School, becomes the first person to play for Sussex's senior side as a result of the partnership with Oxfordshire formed in 2013.

Somerset seamer Jack Brooks played alongside Coles for Oxon in August and was delighted to see him get a call-up. 

He tweeted: "Having played with him last week for the mighty Oxfordshire I can confirm he’s a very bright prospect! Boy can play!"

Coles joined Sussex's Emerging Players Programme as an Under 12 and has twice impressed for the South & West region at the prestigious Bunbury Festival.

He captained the side last year and was named player of the tournament after racking up more runs than anyone else.

Alan Duncan, Oxfordshire and Sussex academy head coach and Magdalen College School cricket professional, has followed Coles' progress closely.

He said: “Since seeing James play from the age of ten, he demonstrated his game awareness and understanding of how to manipulate the field from an early age.

"I remember first seeing him play for Oxfordshire in a match at Abingdon Vale where he scored 140, where he manipulated the field, and everytime the opposition moved a fielder, he would pick that gap.

"Over the years he has consistently shown his ability to score big runs and dominate through the youth age groups he's played with a perfect example being his performances at last years Bunbury festival."

Sussex head coach and former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie said: “We’re very excited to bring young James Coles into the squad for the first time.

“He’s an exciting young cricketer and it will be a great opportunity for him to be around the squad."