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How Do I Become a Professional Cricketer?
The road to any professional sporting position is often a long and arduous one although one that has the potential to be endlessly rewarding if you have real passion for your game. With that in mind, we have written the following as a guide to the key steps on the path to becoming a professional cricketer, with due regard given to the personal strengths and qualities necessary to realise this goal.
In order to succeed in the competitive field of professional UK cricket, it is first best to consider the administrative structure of the sport as it is in the UK. Central to this is the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which acts as the arbiter for all professional and amateur leagues throughout England and Wales. As things stand, there are currently 18 full-time professional cricket clubs in the UK, so it is likely that at least one of these will be on your list to eventually approach. That said, admission to the ranks is rather more likely if the club approaches you, via the recommendation of a talent scout or similar. Bear in mind that your track record must be proven and your playing at a pivotal stage of development for this to happen.
All things considered, the primary starting point for a future in professional cricket is almost always the recreational leagues. These provide the perfect opportunity to hone your playing and technique, all the while building a catalogue of recorded results that can be later quoted as hard evidence of your increasing ability. Most local clubs are allied to the ECB and operate under its governance, so you can be assured that your club`s results will be recognised if and when you are considered for acceptance into the Premier Leagues. These leagues – though amateur in nature – are a formative stepping stone between local cricket and the professional clubs, offering a unique opportunity for cricketers to distinguish themselves from their fellow peers. Also, they lend outstanding players the extra visibility that is so sorely needed in order to get `noticed.`
Once you are participating at a local level with your eye keenly upon the Premier Leagues, you may ask yourself – how best can I maximise my chances of securing a spot at a professional club? Well, first on the to-do list for all up-and-comers must, of course, be practice. It should come as no surprise that every professional cricketer, no matter the level of their natural talent, has a wealth of hours working upon their playing behind them. Fortunately, for those with sufficient love of the game, this will seem more pleasure than toil, although everybody has the occasional bad day and you should be prepared for those times when practice puts you at a low ebb. Just focus upon the positives while acknowledging the negatives and in time, this approach will pay great dividends by improving your overall ability.
Coaching can be an invaluable asset to aid you with your practice, whether in private or as part of a public group. The level of attention per student is often highest at private academies, though these can be rather costly and might best be thought of as a long-term investment for your playing, should you make it to the professional leagues. Similarly, studying to become a coach can have hugely beneficial effects on any player`s technique, with the self-assessment skills that such training provides being a very useful tool. If considering this direction, then further research of the ECB’s tiered coaching award system is highly recommended.
Finally, it should be said that there are currently a number of avenues through which to research the cricket question and answers necessary to best plan your cricketing career – many of which have additional details that would be of great use for young hopefuls. Just remember that with the standard of play always seeming to be on the rise, the professional clubs may, at times, seem far off. But, with the necessary hours on the practice field, there is no reason that you should not soon rise through the leagues.