LANCASHIRE County Crticket Club today announced a ground-breaking initiative with Myerscough College in Bilsborrow.
Old Trafford and Myerscough are teaming up to offer students the opportunity to study at the club's indoor cricket centre for a national diploma combining academic studies in sport with practical skill development in cricket.
Delivered as a two-year course, students will develop their cricketing skills and gain a recognised sporting qualification that is the equivalent to an A level.
Jim Cumbes, Lancashire's chief executive, endorsed the new scheme.
He said: "We are delighted that the county cricket club is able to offer students in the North West the opportunity to study in a first-class environment.
"We are committed to working with the community, particularly to enhance students' career prospects.
"The cricket centre will provide a first-class experience through qualified England Cricket Board coaches which, along with their academic studies, will give the students an outstanding qualification."
* LANCASHIRE'S Blackpool connection could not save the county from defeat against the tourists of Bangladesh A in yesterday's one-day match at Liverpool.
Stanley Park batsman Steven Croft, batting at no.4, was bowled first ball by Syed Rasel as a young Lancashire side was dismissed for 149.
Former Blackpool bowler Newby finished unbeaten on four and then took the wicket of opener Shahriar Nafees but could not prevent Bangladesh from winning by seven wickets under the Duckworth/ Lewis method.
Lancs return to Frizzell County Championship action tomorrow, with the first day of four away to Leicestershire at Grace Road.