An outstanding debut season saw Josh Tongue announce himself as one of the outstanding fast bowling prospects in English cricket. Tongue, aged just 19, finished the 2017 Championship campaign having played a huge role in Worcestershire's promotion, made his England U19 Test debut and won a place in the England Lions squad to Australia. After taking a five-wicket haul on Championship debut against Glamorgan at the start of April (he had previously played one first-class game against Oxford MCCU in 2016), he kept his place for the entire campaign and finished with 47 Championship wickets. Central to that success was his sharp pace and bounce generated from a high, easy action. With a cricket coach for a father, Tongue first represented the Worcestershire U10 side when he was aged just six and progressed through every stage of the club's youth system. A good enough batsman to have scored 150 in the Birmingham League, his progress was delayed by a stress fracture of the back that necessitated surgery during the 2016 season. Having proved his recovery, Tongue signed a new four-year contract with Worcestershire (lasting until the end of 2021) in July 2017. A stress fracture in his left foot interrupted his progress in 2018 and ruled him out of an England Lions tour to the UAE to face Pakistan.