TWO young cricketers have taken further steps towards a successful playing career after being awarded Lancashire Cricket Club scholarships.

Sixteen-years-old Karl Brown (right), who plays for Bolton Association side Atherton, and Steve Mullaney, aged 17, formerly of Golborne and, who now plays for Leigh in the Liverpool Competition, will now be coached full-time at Old Trafford. The two players also received further honours as opening batsman Karl was named Lancashire's junior player of the year and presented with the Cedric Rhoades Trophy, while Stephen has been named in the England U19s squad to tour India early next year.

"Having the scholarship is great for both of us," says Karl.

"The experience should be fantastic and hopefully it will help us improve our game enormously."

Karl played for England U17s four times during the past season. He top scored with 98 against Yorkshire Academy.

He was also the the Bolton Association's leading run-maker, his 1115 runs also made him the highest amateur run scorer in a season in the 116-year history of the league.