Warwickshire players Sunny Singh and Henry Brookes were two of 30 young cricketers who recently came together at Edgbaston for The Professional Cricketers’ Association eighth annual Rookie Camp.
The day-long event, hosted by the PCA and supported by the Tom Maynard Trust, brings together first and second year rookies who have signed their first professional cricket contract.
Representatives from 11 counties as well as members of the MCC Young Cricketers and England women’s academy took part in the event which details the support and guidance the PCA offers cricketers throughout and after their professional career.
Several workshops ran throughout the day discussing the potential pitfalls and dilemmas cricketers may face during their careers. The 30 cricketers took part in a variety of workshops including: anti-corruption, legal support, social media training, gambling addictions, contract negotiation role plays and Q&As with former England and Yorkshire cricketer Ryan Sidebottom and current Leicestershire captain Michael Carberry.
While the workshops provided an educational tool for players, the Q&As gave the opportunity for international cricketers to pass on their experiences and pressures faced during a professional career and how these up-and-coming cricketing stars can deal with similar adverse situations.
Carberry discussed his rise through the ranks at Surrey, the challenges he faced at a similar age to the rookies and revealed the hard work behind his England caps, winning the Big Bash League in Australia and his off field battle to overcome cancer in 2016 in an insightful view into the life of a county cricketer.
PCA Chairman and Worcestershire batsman Daryl Mitchell witnessed the event for the first time and shared his delight at the success of the eighth PCA Rookie Camp:
“It’s been really interesting to watch from a PCA perspective and I’m sure the players will leave here having learnt a great deal,” said Mitchell.
“Unfortunately back in my day we didn’t have this and it’s been really interesting to see an event like this come together to educate the young players.
“Days like this are massive for the players and although there’s a lot of information for them to take in during the day, it really is needed.”
Ian Thomas, Director of Development and Welfare at the PCA, added his thoughts on an engaging day.
“From the PCA standpoint, it’s really encouraging to see these players come in and understand what the PCA can do to support them,” said Thomas.
“These players are just about to start an extremely important and exciting journey and it’s crucial that we give them the best possible education and support throughout.
“A lot of hard work goes into Rookie Camp and all the different development and educational workshops they go on. I thought the whole day was a huge success for both the PCA and our newest members.”
Also illustrating their support at Edgbaston was ECB CEO, Tom Harrison, who delivered a seminar focusing on the ECB’s role and the responsibilities of all individual professional cricketers.
Along with the relationship between the ECB and the PCA, Harrison discussed how the PCA always puts the players’ needs at the forefront of everything.
“The PCA Rookie Camp has been a vital addition to a young players education programme. It allows these players to have an appreciation of how their life will now change and for them to fully make the most of these opportunities then they need to be listening to the wonderful advice the PCA is giving.
“We (The ECB) have an excellent relationship with the PCA and they fulfil a fantastic role in player welfare both whilst playing the game and in terms of post-playing career. I have been a member since 1993 and have always found the PCA to play a vital role in the increasing pressures that are put on today’s players.”