LANCASHIRE stalwart Glen Chapple reckons the county's future is in good hands thanks to the work being done to promote youth cricket.

The stars of Old Trafford have been out and about during the winter helping with coaching clinics around the county.

Chapple, who will embark on his 16th season with the Red Rose county when the new campaign begins in earnest on April 16, began his cricketing career at Ribblesdale League side Earby and believes if it wasn't for the intervention of one of Lancashire's most respected coaches, he could have slipped through the net.

He said: "When I was a kid, and because I came from outside the normal catchment area, it was very difficult to get noticed but I was fortunate that there was a coach with a connection at Old Trafford.

"Jim Kenyon, who is a well-known and a well-respected coach in Lancashire, physically took me down to Old Trafford as an 11-year-old. But for Jim, it might have been five or six years before anybody saw me and maybe then it would have been too late.

"Hopefully, nowadays that won't be the case because if you're good enough to be noticed, you will be noticed because the development system is good enough.

"A lot of the kids could have got missed in those times but I think the club is covering a lot more ground now and they get to see every kid who plays cricket and give everyone a chance.

"We've got ex-professionals working on the Academy at Old Trafford full-time and we've got countless coaches going around the schools, people like Rudra Singh (Lancashire Cricket Development Manager), looking after youth cricket.

"Lancashire has always produced good young cricketers and will always strive to do that.

"But it's not just the professionals who play at Lancashire, there's professionals throughout the county who come from Lancashire and that's a good thing as well."

But the 34-year-old also points to the remarkable growth in popularity of the Twenty20 game, which has taken this country and the world by storm, for the heightened interest in the game.

He said: "The perception of the game is changing rapidly at the moment. With the invention of the Twenty20 format the crowds seemed to have changed from the old One-Day crowd who seemed to want to have a good day and a good drink to now where there's a lot more kids and a lot more families involved.

"And it seems that a lot more kids are taking the game up. We're filling the ground out for Twenty20 games at Old Trafford, which if you think back four years you wouldn't have thought possible so it's a real positive thing for the game."

l Yesterday's game between Lancashire and Yorkshire was abandoned.