Today’s article is a guest post from Darren Talbot; Professional coach, Managing Director of Darren Talbot Cricket Coaching and founder committee member of the Surrey ECB Coaches Association.
The hunt for success is making the sight of professionals a common sight on club cricket fields.
You pay out thousands for players to play for your amateur club. They promise runs, wickets and to bring you the league title.
With the trophy you get on your cabinet you’ll win prize money.
It won’t cover player costs.
Worryingly you will also get less money behind the bar during the course of the season. Most professionals are not local to you and they would rather spend the tax free cash-in-hand down the local nightclub anyway.
Yes, these costs can be covered by persuading a local businessman to put some money into the club.
They’ll probably want to put it towards the development of the club but I’m sure you can persuade them that winning the league will help that goal.
Does that sound like a good deal or what?
Striking a balance
Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against good cricketers being paid to play cricket at club level. For example, in Surrey where I live we need to have a strong ECB Premier Division set up to create new talent pushing for places at first-class level.
But only clubs who have a natural income revenue stream should even be attempting to do it otherwise bankruptcy, misery and disappointment are just around the corner.
It’s important not to lose sight of roles of club cricket:
- To produce a new wave of club players through the junior section
- To provide a cricket club for the local community
- To aim for as much success on the pitch as possible, playing matches in the right spirit
- To create a relaxing, enjoyable environment for members to enjoy each weekend
Clubs have many more roles than this but these should be first and foremost. Paying players isn't the best way to do all these things.
So when you are at your club this weekend, ask yourself whether it’s going in the right direction.
If not, don’t suffer in silence; help it become what it should be.
Before it’s too late.
Learn more about developing a cricket club to make the most of your young cricketers with the Club Cricket Award.