Professional cricketers play for their club or county side in league and cup competitions, and some go on to play at international level.
Salary range: Variable
How to become a cricketer
You can get into this career through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- a player development programme
You may be able to apply for a place at one of the 6 MCC University Centres of Excellence.
During your time at university, you would study for your subject degree and get professional coaching, with opportunities to play at a high level. Depending on your progress, you may be offered a professional contract with a first class county team.
The England and Wales Cricket Board are looking to expand the scheme to offer more places.
As well as normal academic requirements, you’ll need a high level of playing ability to get a place.
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You could do a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Cricket Studies or Level 3 Diploma in Sport (Cricket) at one of a number of colleges that have close links to elite county cricket teams.
These courses are usually aimed at students aged 16 to 19, who have the potential to go on to play first class cricket.
You may need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths
You may be able to start by doing an advanced apprenticeship in sporting excellence (AASE). You’ll need the support of your club to do this.
Once you’ve completed your apprenticeship, your club will decide whether or not to offer you a professional contract.
Apprenticeship training providers set their own entry requirements.
You may be able to join a first class county’s academy or player development programme if you show you have the potential, with your school or club, to play at a high level.
Players are selected by coaches and scouts and invited to go for trials. Places are available at different age group levels from juniors onwards, and are open to male and female cricketers.
Contact your local county cricket board for more details about how to get involved.
County players often combine study or a second job, like coaching, with a playing career. This is because some playing contracts only cover the spring and summer months. Other players join teams in overseas leagues and competitions during the UK winter.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Professional Cricketers’ Association for personal development and support, both during and after your professional career.
You can find out more about becoming a professional cricketer from the England and Wales Cricket Board.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- ambition and a desire to succeed
- excellent verbal communication skills
- physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
- the ability to monitor your own performance and that of your colleagues
- physical fitness and endurance
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- practising batting, bowling and fielding skills
- building up your fitness with strength and conditioning coaches
- working with physiotherapists to treat any injuries
- reviewing videos of your games to identify areas for improvement
- discussing team tactics for games
- playing competitive matches
- travelling to play matches, including overseas on international tours
- taking part in promotional and media activities for your team
- mentoring younger players
You could work at a sports arena or on a sports field.
Your working environment may be outdoors in all weathers, physically demanding and you may spend nights away from home.
Career path and progression
You could move into coaching with clubs, schools and colleges. Your experience would also be useful for jobs in community sports development, sports science or sports management.
You might also re-train to become a sports journalist, physiotherapist or PE teacher.