Rossall School quick bowler Luke Williams has impressed the Australian cricket authorities, who have invited the Thornton Cleveleys youngster to spend a season playing club cricket in Melbourne.
And, if that wasn’t enough for the teenager to take in, he’s also been selected to play for Lancashire County Cricket Club’s Second XI this summer.
The 18-year-old's success comes as no surprise to the coaching staff at Rossall School. They’ve seen first-hand, just what a lethal and accurate fast bowler he has become during his six years on the Fleetwood campus and now he has two great opportunities that could help define his future as a top-flight professional cricketer.
Later this month he’ll know which of Australia’s clubs he’ll be joining for the start of the Australian season and meanwhile he’ll swing into action for Lancashire’s seconds.
Included in the deal to play in Oz will be the cost of travel and accommodation in the country and although Luke will initially travel to Melbourne, he isn’t entirely sure yet where he’ll be based for the duration.
He commented: "To be honest, it’s such a privilege to be given the opportunity to play cricket and learn at a top level that I don’t really care where I play, just as long as I can go, because the experience will be invaluable."
The only unknown quantity in the next month or so is how well Luke has fared in his A-levels, taken in Rossall’s sixth form.
He is looking forward to good pass rates to enable him to attend Loughborough University, although his ultimate aim is to play professional cricket for his home county. He currently plays club cricket for Grappenhall in Cheshire, but appearances for Lancashire’s second XI are likely to restrict future turnouts for the club.
Rossall’s cricket coach, Guy Emmett is delighted by Luke’s progress.
He said: "Luke’s bowling averages have always been above those expected of his age group and he is without doubt a natural cricket talent.
"We’ve watched him mature as a player here over several years. His bowling shoes are big ones to fill for us next year, but our loss is most certainly Lancashire and Australia’s gain. He’s a terrific lad and we hope he goes on to fulfil his potential as a professional cricketer."