Non-league goalkeeper is 12th man for England v Australia at Lord's

Dan Lincoln strikes out for Middlesex in the Vitality Blast - now he is England's 12th man / Picture: Getty Images
Dan Lincoln strikes out for Middlesex in the Vitality Blast - now he is England's 12th man / Picture: Getty Images

It's an unlikely sporting journey by anyone's standards - from patrolling the goalmouth in the Isthmian League to being a 12th man for England against Australia.

That's exactly the route Dan Lincoln has taken - and no-one will be watching to see if he gets into the action at Lord's over the next few days more keenly than Bognor Regis Town fans.

They've spent the past couple of seasons watching Lincoln throw himself about trying to stop balls from Enfield, Harrow and Worthing strikers go past him. Now, if an England player needs to leave the field during the vital second Test, he will be performing similar duties trying to stop a different type of ball.

Lincoln is making his mark at Middlesex, having starred with the bat over a couple of summers and recently battled his way into the first XI's Vitality Blast team, playing three games in the south group.

Now he will hope to show his fielding prowess, perhaps in the same way that Gary Pratt did in the 2005 Ashes, when he famously ran out Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting to help England towards a huge win at Trent Bridge.

Sadly for Bognor fans, Lincoln is thought unlikely to return to Nyewood Lane when the cricket season is over, but that won't stop them keeping an eye on any chance he gets in the Test - where, of course, he should have a fellow Sussex-based player, Jofra Archer, for company.