OXFORDSHIRE'S James Coles hailed a dream come true as he signed his first contract with Sussex.

The 17-year-old all-rounder became the county's youngest first-class player last September, dismissing England internationals Rory Burns and Ben Foakes in a Bob Willis Trophy match against Surrey.

Coles, who attends Magdalen College School in Oxford, will join the Sussex squad at the end of the academic year when he will hope to add to that appearance.

The teenager is the first product of the Oxfordshire and Sussex player development partnership to sign a contract since it was set up in 2013.

Coles told Sussex's official website: “I was over the moon when Keith (Greenfield, Sussex Cricket’s performance director) told me I was being offered a deal as it’s always been my dream to sign a cricket contract from such a young age.

“For it to finally happen, I couldn’t be more grateful.

"Now, I just hope to have a couple good seasons and become a consistent first team player.”

Coles, who bats right-handed and bowls left-arm spin, was just 16 years and 158 days old when he took three wickets against Surrey to round off a successful summer.

The youngster scored a century against Buckinghamshire on his senior Oxfordshire debut last August and played for Aston Rowant in the Home Counties Premier League.

Coles joined the Sussex pathway aged 12 and has been part of the partnership's academy, based at Magdalen College School, since 2019.

The county's Championship and one-day head coach, Ian Salisbury, said: “After he became Sussex’s youngest ever debutant, we are delighted to sign this talented young man.

"He definitely fits our strategy of signing young talent that will bring sustained success to Sussex in the future.

"Huge credit must also go to Oxfordshire and the partnership we have with them.”