Although I make jokes about it being the most oddly specific degree course the world has ever seen, I have to be honest:
I love being a Cricket Coaching & Management student.
Not only do I firmly believe that, pound for pound, we are the most successful degree course going in terms of work placements and personal achievements, but being a student on this pathway means that each one of us is one of only 25 (I believe) cricket specific sports students in the country.
This means, in short, that when it comes to cricket clubs looking for students to work for them, we are in high demand. We have a distinct advantage over any other degree course at any other University, because our program is specifically tailored towards getting a job in a cricket-based workplace.
This has come in incredibly handy for me, and, as you may have guessed from the title, on Wednesday I began one of the best experiences of my University career so far.
What does this mean, I hear you ask?
It essentially means that for a number of Warwickshire’s home matches I will get to sit in the best seat in the house at Edgbaston with all the players and coaches, coding what happens every delivery out on the pitch below, and showing the players what has been going on in more detail than they may be able to pick up with the naked eye.
This includes where each delivery from the bowlers pitches, what shot the batsman played, where the ball went in the field, how many runs they got from it, and any other key events, such as if the ball swung or spun.
Now, I don’t know how many of you reading this will be familiar with performance analysis, or will even like cricket, but let me tell you this: it is a seriously good gig! And watching cricket for 6 hours and noting down on the laptop what happens each delivery as all the dressing room banter flies around certainly beats stacking shelves or sitting on a till all Summer!
And on Wednesday I had my first experience of coding a live day’s cricket…. Well,15 overs of live cricket at least, before Birmingham remembered it was Birmingham and starting tipping it down with rain!
I helped set up the cameras before the day’s play, got all the equipment hooked up in the viewing area, coded the guys’ fifty partnership before the rain set in, and got to know a few of the players and coaches during the 4 hours of rain before the game was called off.
It was a solid first live experience for me, not only because I got to work alongside and get to know high-level International cricketers such as Jonathan Trott and Will Porterfield, but because it set the tone a little bit for my coding for the rest of the Summer….. starting with the first home match against Sussex on the 13th April!
I can’t emphasise enough to current and future students how important it is they take advantage of these opportunities, and I’m sure you’ll all be hearing plenty more about my first season as an Intern with the Bears as the Summer goes on!