Those who can, do. Those who can’t … do something else! But don’t let go of that initial passion.
If you believe a career as a cricketer in India will not work for you, or if you are planning for a future after your playing days, here are some common roles and jobs in the cricket industry that will let you be connected to cricket even without playing.
Careers in cricket other than playing include everything from media to cricket analysis and sports physiotherapy. Some of these may be pursued as a hobby or part-time opportunities in cricket, while others are full-time jobs related to cricket in India.
Career in cricket: How to become-
Career in cricket: How to become a journalist in India
Writing or talking about cricket is an excellent way to share your love for the game with others. This can be a hobby, or a job.
To start, choose your platform – be it YouTube or Snapchat, a blog or a podcast or a WhatsApp forward once a week to family and friends – and start combining your cricket knowledge with your creativity. Work towards being accurate and fair in what you say. Give people a reason to keep coming back to read/listen to you.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be in English: write or speak in the language you are most comfortable in!
If you want to take a professional route and work with a newspaper, TV channel or website, make sure you have samples of your work to show when you apply for a job. Follow the work of other journalists and reach out to them. A journalism degree is not essential for writing roles, as long as you can communicate well. People with expertise in statistics, mathematics, design and coding can also be a part of cricket media. New opportunities are opening up every day!
Career in cricket: How to become an umpire in India
Fun cricket fact: If a fielder deliberately uses a piece of her clothing, like a cap or T-shirt, to take a catch, then the batter is given not out and five runs are added to the total as a penalty for the fielding side.
This is just one of the many rules included among the 42 Laws of Cricket. As an umpire, you’ll be an expert on all of them!
But don’t worry, you don’t have to know all the rules right away: Courses will help you brush up on them.
To become an umpire, first register with your state association for one of the umpiring courses they offer. (Some private academies also offer courses.) The course is generally for about a week, and includes theory and practical exams before you get a certification.
Once you are certified, you can ‘stand’ in matches recognised by that state association. You’ll start off with school and lower division matches. To umpire in first-class and international matches, you must be recognised by the BCCI. It takes around 3-5 years of experience in the lower levels before you can aim for BCCI certification.
When the BCCI invite applications, your state association will recommend the top names from their list of umpires (they may hold a screening test). Candidates will then go through a short course conducted by the BCCI, followed by theory and practical exams, followed by a viva.
Marks are important: you can proceed only if you score at least 80% in your theory! If you are successful, you will be a Level 1 BCCI umpire.
After a few years, you can apply for Level 2 certification. You may need to be scoring 90% to clear this level!
The BCCI may endorse their best accredited umpires to be on the ICC panel of umpires, making them eligible to stand in international matches organised by the ICC.
Career in cricket: How to become a scorer in India
If you can’t take your eyes off the action on a cricket field, the job of a cricket scorer might be just for you.
To be a scorer, you need to know some cricket. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the Laws of Cricket, you’ll pick it up as you go along.
To start off, go old school. Buy a cricket scoring book, which is a notebook with various columns and rows where you can enter things like runs and wickets and overs.
Print out a sample page from various templates online and make copies of it. Fill it in as you watch a match. Use different colours to denote different events of the match if you want. Also, don’t get distracted by thoughts of dinner or the movie you watched yesterday!
You can do scoring as a hobby, or even pursue a short online course. But if you want to take it up seriously and be a scorer at domestic or international games, you need BCCI accreditation.
Reach out to your local cricket association (district or state) and register your interest with them. When they call for applications via an ad in the newspaper or their website, sign up. A course is generally for 3-4 days, and concludes with an exam with theory and practical components.
Career in cricket: How to become an analyst in India
The next time you get told off for watching cricket all the time, just say you’re practising to be a cricket analyst!
Of course, there’s a good chance that such a reply will earn you a reminder that being an analyst also means paying a lot of attention to your education.
The top analysts working with national sides have Masters and PhD degrees in data science, analytics or statistics. A background in computer science or engineering can also open up jobs at the lower level and in the private sector. Some universities in India and abroad offer graduate courses in sports analytics too. But at the very basic level, a strong understanding of cricket and aptitude for analytical thinking is needed.
As with many other roles in the system, state associations organise short-term courses for analyst certification.
Career in cricket: How to become a coach in India
To become a cricket coach, you should have played some level of cricket. But you don’t always have to be a great player to be a great coach.
At the grassroots level, a coach is like a teacher. And needs similar qualifications. She is expected to have a passion for the subject, and is encouraged to have a relevant degree, diploma or certificate. This may be in physical education or some other cricket-specific certifications.
Many top coaches in India have got their coaching degrees or certification via Sports Authority of India’s Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala or other SAI sub-centres.
For coaches with more playing experience and bigger ambitions, cricket-specific coaching certification is done in three levels: Level 1, 2 and 3, with 3 being the highest.
The national boards of England and Australia, as well as the International Cricket Council run some popular training programmes for each level. These programmes are open to candidates from other countries as well.
The BCCI, through the National Cricket Academy, also offer these courses. They are highly acclaimed, but they may be held less regularly and often require a high level of playing experience.
Most academies and state associations in India also conduct basic coaching courses that are based on these national and international programmes.
Career in cricket: How to become a sports physio in India
Another good way to combine higher education, an enquiring mind and a passion for sports is through sports physiotherapy.
Sports physiotherapy is a specialisation that students can study after a Bachelor’s degree or diploma in physiotherapy.
This field involves not only treating athletes’ injuries. Also, working with them and their coaches to see that they minimise injuries in the first place. Pursuing research on training, injury and wellness.
A strength and training coach is an associated role in that it also involves taking care of the athletes’ health and fitness, and minimising injury. This too requires a background in sports science.
The National Cricket Academy holds short-term courses for physios, S&C coaches and trainers for cricket-specific certification.