Cricket is one of the most popular sports in the UK. It is played in schools, universities and clubs all over the country, many of which have nurtured cricketers who have gone on to play internationally. It’s a game that can easily be picked up by young children, yet it’s possible to continue playing for a relatively long time. With enough talent and commitment coupled with a love of the game, almost anyone can become a professional cricketer.

If you have aspirations to play cricket professionally, here are some tips to help you achieve that goal:

Nurture Your Natural Talent

The majority of people who become professional cricketers have a level of natural talent for the sport. However, it’s how you nurture that talent that can make the different between success and failure. Set yourself goals and do as much as you can to maximise the cricketing talent that you already have.

Join a Club

In the UK, cricket is run by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). There are a large number of amateur clubs that are affiliated to the ECB. Players who show talent and drive when playing in one of these clubs (usually at a junior level) could be put forward to play at one of the 18 fully professional county clubs in the UK.

Join a University Team

If you attend a university that has been designated an MCCU (currently Oxford, Cambridge, Loughborough, Leeds/ Bradford and Cardiff/ Glamorgan), you could join a cricket team there. You may then get spotted to play for a county. This route makes it possible for slightly older players to get through.

Practice

Even if you are a member of an amateur team, you should aim to practice as much as possible outside of team time. Invest in some cricket gear and ask your family and friends to play with you. You needn’t spend a fortune on equipment. Even some of the world’s best players started with cheap cricket pads, bats, balls and cricket clothing.

Be Assertive

No one ever achieved great success by hiding in the shadows. In order to reach your goal of becoming a professional cricketer, you’ll have to do all that you can to get your foot in the door. Ask your coaches and trainers what you can do to improve your game and further your career. You should then aim to do those things as soon as possible. It’s likely that professional clubs will admire your drive and determination.

Study the Game

Cricket is much more than just a physical game. It requires an extremely high level of concentration. Study the game and the techniques involved until they become second nature to you. Work on the mental aspect of the game. This will help you bounce back from the failures many aspiring cricketers can encounter. It will also help you cope with success better when you do achieve it.

Not everyone can become a professional cricketer. But if you have the right level of talent, drive and determination, there’s no reason why you can’t achieve your goals.