GARY Knight could be the next man to make the step from the Palace Shield into County Cricket after receiving a call-up to play for Northamptonshire next week.

The 20-year-old, who cut his cricketing teeth playing for Longridge, will play for the Steelbacks when they play against Graeme Fowler’s Durham MCCU side at The Riverside.

The MCCU games have First Class status and Knight, who was a pupil at Longridge High School, gets his chance as Northants look to new talent and to solve an injury crisis at Wantage Road and if he impresses coach David Ripley there could be a bright future.

Lancashire’s Simon Kerrigan rose from the Palace Shield to play for England in the Ashes last summer, while Andrew Flintoff is the most famous graduate from the league.

Knight has been playing for Ormskirk in the Liverpool Competition – and last year helped knock Longridge out of the ECB National Cup, his three catches and quick 40 ending the local’s run after wins over Blackpool and Preston.

His old team-mates will try to maintain their 100 per cent record in the Premier Division this afternoon when they welcome Vernon Carus to the George Newsham Memorial Ground for what is the game of the day.

Longridge, Vernons and Garstang all have 24 points from their two games and the leadership is currently being decided on alphabetical order.

Withnell Fold need a change of luck after losing both games so far and hope for a first win when they host Thornton Cleveleys.

Hoghton are top of Division One as they bid for an instant return to the Premier Division and they are on the road for their game at New Longton, while Longridge seconds – who also boast a two from two record – go to Croston with White Coppice making the trip up the M6 for their game at Torrisholme.