The PCA Personal Development Scholarship


Yorkshire’s County Championship-winning captain Andrew Gale, Northamptonshire all-rounder Steven Crook, Warwickshire pair Richard Jones and Jonathon Webb, former England pace bowler Amjad Khan and former Worcestershire slow left armer Shaaiq Choudhry are the winners of this year’s PCA Personal Development Scholarships.

The scholarships were introduced by the PCA in 2013 to find and reward the most proactive members, past and present, on or off the pitch, in the area of Personal Development.

Gale and Crook were the winners in the Current Players category, Jones and Webb took the prizes in the Newcomers category and Khan and Choudhry won the Past Player Progression Personal Development Awards.

All six will receive £1,000 towards Personal Development course funding, resources of their choice or to reimburse costs already incurred.

Webb will receive a further £1,000 after his presentation was highly commended by the judging panel of PCA Chief Executive Angus Porter, PCA Assistant Chief Executive Jason Ratcliffe, PCA National Personal Development Manager Ian Thomas and Charlie Mulraine, one of the PCA’s six-strong team of Personal Development and Welfare Managers. Webb’s presentation included the idea of an online communication tool that could be used by PCA members.

As well as leading Yorkshire to back-to-back County Championships Gale has found time to develop and expand his business Pro Coach which now coaches more than 3,000 youngsters across the country with a turnover of £360,000.

Former Yorkshire wicketkeeper Barney Gibson, Worcestershire batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Derbyshire slow left armer Tom Knight are among those who have benefited from Pro Coach coaching. Kane Williamson, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell have run masterclasses for the organisation.

Gale will use his Scholarship money to purchase a fielding machine and new computer screen and hopes that his success will encourage other players to draw up a personal development plan.

“Personal Development is massive. You can see the benefits while you are playing because it gives you confidence. There is a big bad world out there, you have a fantastic job as a cricketer so you should enjoy it and make the most of it,” Gale said.

“But if cricket comes to and end through injury or loss of your contract, having something else in place helps to give you confidence that you can fill that gap. You can never be too prepared for when your career ends. It’s a case of realising that and planning for the future in the present.” 

Crook had a year out of cricket in 2010 so has already experienced life outside the game and has thrown himself into personal development since he returned to cricket five years ago.

He now sits on the board of Northants Recreational Cricket and is director of Mau Media whose clients include Cricket United, Hyundai. Seat and Northants Cricket.

“Personal Development is very important. It’s something that all players should be doing. Having something going on outside the game takes my mind off cricket,” he said.

“When I come in and train and play I am fresh. I come in with a clear mind. I don’t tend to over-complicate things too much. It’s nice to have something to fall back on.

“I run a business so it’s really important for me to do a couple of hours work before and after training and playing. I get up early and do various bits and pieces before I go to the ground.

“When I do go in to training I am going there and just enjoying being a cricketer. I don’t put too much pressure in myself because I know I have something to fall back on. I can go and play cricket for the love of it.”

Jones is in the second year of a part-time distance learning degree in Sports and Exercise Science at Manchester Metropolitan University and is also working as a strength and conditioning intern at Warwickshire to gain valuable work experience. He also completed his Level Two coaching qualifications in October on a bespoke course devised for professional players devised by the PCA and England and Wales Cricket Board.

“My Personal Development has been a long journey a bit of a wonky road,” Jones said. “I looked at various other things. I nearly committed to a sports journalism course and I was flirting with the idea of doing a business course but there was nothing I could properly commit to.

“So working with my Lynsey Williams, my Personal Development Manager, I came across the course I am doing now. Everything fitted perfectly.

“I’m currently in second year and enjoying it. It’s a part time course it’s distance learning done mostly through an iPad to the University’s internet site.” 

Webb already has a degree in graphic design from Leeds University and has put it to good use by helping kit manufacturer Woodworm redesign their label and working closely with Warwickshire and England batsman Ian Bell on his new equipment range which is being launched by Woodworm.

Webb also worked in Warwickshire’s commercial department last summer while he was sidelined with a shoulder injury and has spent time working for Class Creative, who have helped the club redesign their Birmingham Bears brand.

“Since I have been engaging with a personal development plan it has helped me to relax a bit and trust that if cricket doesn’t work out there are always other avenues to go down,” Webb said.

“Hopefully I will be having a long cricket career but, if all else fails, I have got something else to fall back on.

“The experiences I have had away from the game have helped me appreciate what is out there after cricket.”

Khan, who played for Kent and Sussex before he retired in 2014, is still involved in cricket in his native Denmark where he is now in the second year of law degree at the Southern University of Denmark.

Khan has already used his legal knowledge to provide legal aid to help refugee children from Syria find their families and his enjoying his new career.

“I like to tell a good story. You hear about the different players who finish their careers and then struggle but, thanks to the PCA, I have a life that is equally as rewarding as being a professional cricketer,” he said.

“I hope my story can inspire some of the other players because life after cricket can be very tough.

“Academics has always been close to my heart and I always felt that if my cricket career wasn’t to develop I would go into that. 

Choudhry, who began his county career with Warwickshire, had started planning for life after cricket before he was released by Worcestershire at the end of last season.

He has now set up business with a friend in Rotherham producing the Brothers Circle fashion range which has been well-supported by Choudhry’s former Worcestershire team mates and stars of a number of television reality programmes.

“Without Personal Development I would not be where I am today. All the skills I have built up while playing cricket have come into use now,” Choudhry said.

“That’s thanks to the PCA and Lynsey Williams. I have worked outside of cricket and it’s something that a lot of cricketers should do because it makes the transition from cricket into working so much easier. Without that experience I would be lost.”

Thomas, the former Glamorgan batsman who now leads the PCA's Personal Development and Welfare Programme, said: “The PCA Personal development Scholarship Awards have become an annual event in the calendar.

"With over 20 applications, we had a tough job shortlisting and we thank all members for their applications.  Over 80% of players are now engaged in a Personal Development plan. 

"These awards highlight the winners as ambassadors and will hopefully inspire others to take similar paths.  The day provides the shortlisted candidate with the task to present on a set challenge and go through a rigorous interview process.  Many congratulations to all six on their awards and to Jonathon Webb on the quality of his presentation. We look forward to more players applying in the future.” 

The next PCA Personal Development Scholarship Awards application process will open in  August 2016.





  • The Personal Development Newcomer Award (for players making their first achievements in personal development)
  • The Past Player Personal development Award
  • The Current Player Personal Development Award

The winners will take home a significant financial reward that can be used towards the costs of their personal development.  Examples that the award could be used for include, costs incurred, resource costs or course fees.


The judging panel will assess the shortlisted candidates on varies criteria 

  • Development course/s undertaken and qualifications attained
  • Cricketing development — where relevant
  • Work placement/s undertaken
  • Community work undertaken
  • Willingness to embrace charitable initiatives
  • How they would use the additional scholarship award


Examples of Personal Development in the last 12 months could include: personal or professional development course/s undertaken and learning/formal qualifications gained, cricketing development (where relevant), work placement(s) undertaken, and involvement in charity or community based work. However, the PCA recognise the broad and individual nature of Personal Development so speak to your regional Personal Development Manager if unsure whether your efforts qualify.

A shortlist will be asked to present on their efforts in January and the winners will be announced in February 2016.

What the 2015 PCA Scholarship Winners said – watch the video below...

The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) wishes to reward the most proactive members, past or present.  Throughout each calendar year a large amount of PCA members take part in personal development, the award aims to highlight some of the best examples across the membership. It also highlights the development culture its members adopt with the support from the PCA.

The award has been running since 2013 and has delivered some fantastic personal development ambassadors.