< BACK

'Life as a cricketer, on and off the field' an article by Ryan Stevenson


How to describe life as a cricketer? Well firstly I expect like in most things you will get a different point of view from every person who has experienced it. I can only talk about my views and my experiences.

I think the easiest way to describe being a cricketer is too split it onto two parts, the summer and the winter as they can be so different.

The summer obviously being the main part. A standard summer season will run from pre season tour at the start of March to the end of September, I have been fortunate enough to have been a part of pre season tours to Barbados and La Manga in Spain. The Pre-season tours usually last anywhere between 10-14 days and more often than not we will train for the first part and then play 3 or 4 games towards the end of the trip. These will normally be against other counties from England that are on their tours as well. These are great fun as you will train and play hard but also get a good amount of down time to do some stuff outside of cricket. This will normally vary from anything between just going for a coffee and a chill out to playing golf. If there is a spa nearby some of the other players normally make use of that to help with physical recovery. This is a nice relaxing time and a nice time to get to know your teammates without the pressure of the cricket. Once we have returned from pre season, that is when the madness begins really.

From the end of March until the end of September it’s a whirlwind of matches, training and travelling around the country. The season can be different for one player to the next. You have the guys that will be in the first team all year around playing the championship games, 50 over games and T20 matches. Then there are the lads that play in the second team for most of the year, these are normally the academy lads or younger guys that are just finding their way into the game. Then there are the guys that are on the fringes of the first team. This means you will travel around a fair bit with the 1’s but may not play a whole lot. Then if not picked you may go and join up with the second team wherever they are playing to make sure you are still playing enough and in my case getting enough match overs under your belt. Most players will experience this at some point in their career and it’s a great chance to get used to the environment of the first team whilst still having a chance to keep developing your skills by playing the second team games. Obviously the first team is where everybody wants to be playing. From the few games I have played it’s a pretty special environment. You have the ups and downs of the four day county championship matches which can be a good challenge physically and mentally. Physically it’s been shown as a bowler you can nearly cover 20km in a day, we all wear GPS units to help measure this and to keep an eye on everyone’s workloads in an effort t prevent injuries. This is critical especially in times where there could be two or three games back to back.

Then you have the excitement of the T20 games, the bigger crowds and the faster pace. This although shorter in format can take it out of you both physically and mentally from higher adrenaline, amount of games and travelling in a shorter period. These are the reasons why when you are on the fringes you keep working hard and try to do what it takes to get a more regular spot in the first team.

As said previously travelling is a big part of the summer which means spending a lot of time with your teammates, between travelling, staying in hotels, going out for food after a day’s play, training and playing together. Having spoken to a few people that have stopped playing they have said this time with mates is the part they miss rather than the playing. I have to agree these times just chatting and having a bit of banter will be tough to replace when I have stopped playing. Any other spare time away from cricket during the summer is more often than not spent with families. We are encouraged to get away from cricket if we can to help refresh the body and the mind. Having had a son around a year ago now it’s always great to see him and not think about cricket for a little bit and just unwind to be ready to go again the next time I am on the pitch. Other guys who may not have families yet may do other things a few examples are playing golf, going for a drink or two; a few lads have even gone fly fishing recently.

Once the summer has flown by and October rolls around we are very lucky to get a month off to rest and recover. This is often when families will go on holiday or go back home for a little while. There are some lads that will go off and play in one of the many global T20 competitions along with some that will head straight to the southern Hemisphere for 6 months playing there. Alternatively some will stay in the UK until after Christmas and then go somewhere for a couple months to get some outdoor cricket in before pre season comes round again.

My experiences have been fairly limited so far due to injury. I have spent most winters rehabbing. This normally means after October off its straight back in the gym in November so its gives me a good amount of time to get my body right. The usual set up for winter is mostly gym work through November and December with individual skills work i.e. Batting, bowling and fielding with whichever coaches are around at the time. This is often four days a week and a lot of the time we will be finished around lunchtime. Then in the New Year formal training will start for guys that are still around. This is normally a morning of cricket based work and then strength and conditioning stuff will move more to the afternoons. This is a great time to get any technical work done or any improvements you are trying to make to your game nailed down before the season starts.

At this time we are very fortunate to have plenty of spare time to again spend with family but also at this time guys may do some work experience in other industries or within cricket such as coaching. We are encouraged to seek opportunities where we can as a high number of cricketers will have to go into another line of work once their career comes to an end. We are very lucky to have the Players Cricket Association who actively help and encourage players to look to the future and try and plan out their path for life after cricket.

Once March then comes around again we are all geared up and ready to start the season again and the cycle continues.

I hope this gives a little insight into what cricketers do year round. Overall it is a great experience and a huge privilege to have the opportunity to play cricket for a job. Coming into my fifth year now I can safely say whether I have one more year or ten more years left it’s been an amazing time with some amazing people and my advice to anyone wanting to go down the same path is to always work hard, always try and learn from every situation and always try and believe in yourself.

< BACK

Leave a comment:
Tag Cloud

From the club shop

Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing
Torquay Cricket Club Clothing

Our Sponsors

Ponticello
Darnells
RoofWorx
Contour
Narracotts Architects
DGM
DGM
GMM
Osborne Hotel
Pincombes Estate Agents
Renaissance Retirement
wiltshires
Bibse
Cheif Rentals
3AD
Carpet King
Baker Estates