Ed Giddins and Nadeem Shahid from Surrey spent the first part of the off-season selling Christmas trees at Wandsworth roundabout, getting needles in their socks. That was just over 20 years ago. Since then, times have changed fairly quickly. The six months of bare calendars and thinner wallets are over. Most of Surrey’s Championship-winning team are on full-time contracts with their counties, so few of them are still around to pull crackers with Alec Stewart over the mince pies. Winter now brings big paydays
Winter now brings big paydays not empty schedules for English cricketers
Ben Geddes. Josh Blake. Tom Lawes. And Cam Steel are playing club cricket in Australia. While the England players for Surrey are doing England-related stuff. Chris Jordan is playing for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash while Gus Atkinson is competing in the Abu Dhabi T10. Conor McKerr, Nick Kimber. Gus Atkinson. And Nathan Barnwell are among the young players from Surrey who will compete as net bowlers in the next UAE T20 competition. Dan Worrall defies convention by returning to Australia to complete his applied finance master’s degree.
Sam Cook of Essex and the England Lions are eager to experience professional cricket.
Similar initiatives are underway at Sussex, which is located 50 miles to the south and 16 spots lower in the final Championship tables. Ollie Carter, 21, Ali Orr, 21, and Fynn Hudson-Prentice, three players who were run out for 198 on the final day of the season, are also travelling to Adelaide. Along with other young players like the Leicestershire leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed and more experienced players like Haseeb Hameed and Dan Lawrence, the England Lions are in the UAE with Tom Haines and Jack Carson. Others. like Steven Finn, are in rehab, wearing wool hats, and getting ready for winter at the Hove indoor school.
A simple scan of athletes’ social media posts reveals a consistent pattern across the nation. The squad list for the Desert Vipers, one of the teams scheduled to compete in the UAE T20 league early next year, has a familiar tint. Yorkshire’s Adam Lyth, who will play for Northern Warriors in the sixth season of the Abu Dhabi T10, is there, looking cheerful as he arrives. Tymal Mills, Alex Hales, Benny Howell, Saqib Mahmood, Sam Billings, Tom Curran, Ben Duckett, and Mark Watt from Scotland also make an appearance.
Lancer Capital, a private equity company led by Manchester United legend Avram Glazer, is the company that owns the Desert Vipers. The Glazer family is becoming engaged in cricket as they appear to be selling their football team. The new league has surpassed the Big Bash and Pakistan Super League to become the second-most lucrative cricket competition out there, with top players receiving $450,000 for the six-week tournament. There is only the Indian Premier League left, where top earners can take home nearly $2 million for their efforts.
Even the greatest dreams of county cricket players in the past could not have imagined the amount of money that was being thrown around. At the conclusion of the season, players were laid off and expected to find work to keep them occupied until the beginning of April, when they would abruptly and brutally have to run themselves into shape.
The majority of wintertime jobs were physically demanding, taxing, and chilly, if not carbon-budget busting. Ian Austin worked on his muscle by moving huge carcasses for a Lancashire butcher, while the tiny Harry Pilling used to dig graves. Many cricketers with dejected-looking CVs ended up on construction projects. Arnie Sidebottom played for Manchester United, Halifax, and Huddersfield, while Denis Compton played on the wing for Arsenal. Ian Botham represented Scunthorpe. Even though Graham Gooch was never selected for the team, he trained with West Ham throughout his six-month break from the sport.
Cricketers have long been the subject of media flings. Jonathan Agnew, the host of Test Match Special, got his start in journalism with BBC Radio Leicestershire in the late 1980s while working as a sports producer in the off-season. Retired players occasionally appear in suits mid-inning on BT Sport at odd hours in the winter. Due to the proposed funding reductions for BBC local radio, such opportunities might become less common in the future.
There are still some women’s cricket players who also pursue other vocations. Seven of the players of Central Sparks are on 12-month contracts. While the other players are pay-as-you-play. Liz Russell juggles playing cricket while working as an NHS pharmacist, and Anisha Patel juggles her job in pharmacovigilance, but it’s getting harder to do both. Grace Potts is studying psychology at Loughborough, Ria Fackrell is splitting her final year there over two years and playing club cricket in Australia. And four Sparks have joined the England Under-19 T20 World Cup squad.
Four England players have been selected for the Women’s Big Bash at the highest level: Alice Capsey (Melbourne Stars), Sophie Ecclestone (Sydney Sixers), Tammy Beaumont (Sydney Thunder), and Danni Wyatt (Brisbane Heat).
However. Not all retired players had a negative outlook on the cold winters of the past. Darren Bicknell. Who hails from Surrey and Nottinghamshire. Work in a knitwear factory during some of his downtime. He told the Cricketer. “We were able to do what we wanted to do, which was, in some ways, really good.
The actual world. As oppos to merely the cricket universe you had become ensconced in, was visible while you were taking a break from playing cricket. Additionally, it meant that for at least six months out of the year. Players could live relatively regular lives and spend time getting back in touch with their families.