How to deal with favouritism in cricket | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

How to deal with favouritism in cricket

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tc7
Have you missed a cricketing opportunity because of favouritism?

There is little doubt the practice goes on at every level. Sport is subjective and we are all only human after all. What do you do if you find yourself getting overlooked in favour of someone else who you feel deserves less of a chance?

Follow these 5 steps and you will find yourself getting a fair crack this season.

1. Look at yourself

It's easy to blame people for picking favourites, but it isn't always the truth. Before you decide whether to act think about your own attitude and performances. Why would a coach, captain or selection committee look at others above you?

Write your thoughts down to clarify your thinking.

Compare yourself to the players getting more chances while being as objective as possible. Are you really the subject of favouritism or are you playing the blame game?

If you are still sure something is unfair after this, take the next step.

2. Find the answers A

lmost everyone considers themselves fair minded. You will not find many team selectors and captains who admit to picking a favourite. They will always have a reason for going to someone else before you. It's your job to find those reasons.

It's best not to guess at this point. Motivation is a complicated area and what you think is a reason may be someone else's excuse. Instead take the important person (or people) aside and ask. The trick to asking is to frame your question in a positive way, no matter how much you feel you are being picked on by someone. The alternative is accusation which can make your situation worse.

For example, if you feel you should be in the first team but are not getting a chance try asking the captain:

"Steve, I would love to get into the first team this year. What is stopping me from getting that chance at the moment and what do I need to do to make it happen?"

If Steve considers himself a fair minded skipper (and most will do) then he is bound to tell you what he feels you need to do. Now you need to be careful. He may say some things you disagree with. Now is not the time to argue. Instead do two things:

  1. Agree. Even if your blood boils at his response, take it at face value and agree to do what is needed.
  2. Check back. Make sure you repeat back what you are told, making the goal as specific as possible. If Steve tells you that you need more second team wickets ask him how many he thinks would give you a fighting chance. Get as much detail as you can. Some will give more than others so don't press the details too much, just get what you can from the conversation.

Another thing to consider is this: Steve may lie to you. He may know himself you will never get what you want no matter how well you do. Although you can never really know if this is happening you can make a judgment call based on what he says and decide if your plan is worth pursuing.

3. Look for alternatives

The next step is to find out what other options you have. Whether you think you are fighting a lost cause or not, it's a good idea to have alternatives available if you need them. The main option is to change clubs or areas. Depending on where you live this may or may not be possible. You could also change your aims to fit the situation. As long as they are still challenging then you are not losing out.

Take some time to go over a few ideas for other options and weight them up. Move on to step 4 if you decide to try and win your rightful place.

4. Make a commitment

In step 2 you agreed a path for you to reach your aims and overcome favouritism. Now it's time to act. If you read this site regularly you will know the best way to do this. Here is a reminder for you:

  • Plan things out from the wildest success you can imagine.
  • Work backwards, breaking your goals down into specific tasks to achieve.
  • Do those tasks.

As time passes you can note down every success, comparing it with what you were told you needed to do. You are compiling the proof you need to succeed.

5. Show your success

The final step is to go back to Steve (or whoever) with your success. Again you need to frame your conversation in a positive way. Remind Steve of your conversation then show him how you met his needs. You will get one of the following responses:

  • A positive result. Steve agrees and picks you.
  • Moving the goalposts. During the time you were making things happen, Steve's priorities changed and he wants you to do more. If you believe Steve is being honest go away and get those done too.
  • An excuse. If you believe this is happening you will probably never get past his favouritism it's time to bring in the other option(s) you came up with in step 3.

With these 5 steps (repeated where needed) you give yourself a chance to overcome the pitfalls of favouritism.


Want to gain bulletproof mental toughness to score runs and take wickets under pressure? PitchVision Academy has a complete training course to build up your confidence, concentration and skyrocket your success.




© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008


Broadcast Your Cricket Matches!

Ever wanted your skills to be shown to the world? PV/MATCH is the revolutionary product for cricket clubs and schools to stream matches, upload HD highlights instantly to Twitter and Facebook and make you a hero!

PV/MATCH let's you score the game, record video of each ball, share it and use the outcomes to take to training and improve you further.

Click here for details.


Great article. I found myself overlooked at my club last year, and followed some of the points here. I thought things through and decided to join a new team, and things are going great!

Some sound points there. If you can get past step 1 then you're well on the way, self analysis can often be the hardest thing for many.

Tom, it's easy to blame others. A bit of honesty goes a long way

Great news Ty. Why were you overlooked?

A long story, but cut short,

I'm a young leg spinner and had a few problems with my bowling in the 2006 season due to a growth spurt. Thus, didn't get much of a bowl that season. However, my batting improved significantly and was promoted to opening the batting. But I didn't want to give up my bowling.

I then worked extremely hard throughout the winter and throughout the 2007 season and got my bowling back to par, but wasn't given a chance with the ball. I felt that it was hugely unfair as I had put in so much work on my bowling, and was bowling really well in the nets throughout the season. I felt the captains at the club were being very narrow minded.

There was a general feeling at the club that I had lost it with my bowling just due to my bad run of form in 2006 and was now classed as a batsman, even though I had worked hard to get my bowling back on track for the 2007 season. I found it very hard to overturn the members presumptions, and by the end of last season, had fallen out with many of the captains and chairman as they wouldn't bowl me, not even in friendly Sunday games.

I did look at myself and think, "is my bowling actually back on track, and do they have a case for not bowling me"

And by the end of the season, after a few games for another club, I realised my bowling has never been better!

I've now moved to a new club who's 1st team play a higher standard than my old club, and am set to start in their 1's as a first change spinner, and middle order batsman.

I think all young legspinners go through a stage where they have big problems where it feels like they've aboslutely lost it, due to a growth spurt or whatever, but I would advise them to fight through it, however long it takes, as there's nothing better than watching a good legspinner bowling well.

Great story Ty, and well told. Good luck for the coming season. How are preparations going?

Great article David. There's a guy in my club that thinks he should be on the firsts, and bends your ear on it at every opportunity - but he never turns up to training! To be fair, he is naturally good - but the captain has a policy of no-train no-play, which is very reasonable.
Doesn't stop yer man from moaning like he's being stabbed in the back though Smiling

A classic case of the blame game Ed. I wonder how he justifies it?

Meh, he says the club captain has it in for him, and even if he did train he wouldn't get a game. Highly unlikely though.

Maybe you should write on a bit of paper and slip it in his bag!