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County cricketers plan for future at PCA Transition Conference

Former England internationals Tim Ambrose and Michael Lumb will be better prepared for life after cricket having attended a successful inaugural Professional Cricketers’ Association Transition Conference at Edgbaston. 

Ambrose and Lumb were among 14 past and present county cricketers, ranging in age from 21-year-old Warwickshire batsman Matt Lamb to 49-year-old former Leicestershire seamer Lloyd Tennant who attended the two-day conference.

Former players Kevin Sharp, Stephen Peters, David Balcombe, Kyle Hogg and Paul Nixon were among the guest presenters who discussed their own transition from playing and provided helpful advice on preparing for a second career after playing.

“I’ve not done a huge amount of Personal Development work but that’s what this conference and the work we do with our Personal Development and Welfare Managers is all about,” said Warwickshire wicketkeeper Ambrose.

“You can learn so much from the experience of players who have made the transition and from the areas that they would have liked to have been more prepared in. Their experience can help you when you have to tackle those issues yourself.

“But everyone is different, everyone has their idea of what they want to do when they finish, how they want to do it and what is going to motivate them.

“Events like this help you open your eyes and hopefully make some decisions and improvements in areas that you will need to in the future.”

Lumb has already started the transition process having been forced to retire midway through last season by an ankle injury. 

“For me finishing the game came abruptly so the Transition Conference is probably a good place to start when it comes to planning for the future and it has been beneficial to me and the other guys,” Lumb said. 

“Although I had struggled for a long time with the injury I didn’t expect my career to finish so abruptly. It came to a stop when I didn’t want it to so I wasn’t that prepared for life after cricket.”

Lumb has made a promising start to starting a second career having impressed as a Sky Sports summariser at the end of last season. He has also been appointed team manager for the Sydney Sixers in the forthcoming Big Bash League but he has an open mind about other career options.

“I have tried to stay busy. People advised me to take whatever comes my way and throw myself into it.  I was very lucky to have the opportunity with Sky which has been exciting. Hopefully there is more stuff to come,” he said.

“But I’ve been networking trying to meet as many people as I can. I’ve been trying to do as many new things as I can outside of cricket. 

“It can be a bit scary and daunting, but the more of things like this you can do to keep busy, the easier it will make that transition.”

The PCA Transition Conference included sessions on pensions, financial management presentation and networking skills and a networking lunch attended by former county cricketers Graeme Cessford, Alex Gidman, Chris Whelan, Andy Miller, Stuart Eustace and Richard Grant.

“We have been extremely pleased with the success of this week’s PCA Transition Conference.  The conference aimed to support and complement the work of the PCA’s regional Personal Development and Welfare Managers that support players’ transition one-to-one by bringing players together,” said Ian Thomas, PCA Director of Development and Welfare.

“It gave them the opportunity to share experience and learn from each other.  It was extremely pleasing to see players attend from different ages and at different stages in their transition. A number of players attended as a proactive way of preparing for the future, even though they are still playing and that approach has to be commended. 

“The conference provided practical, reflective and directive workshops that were all well engaged and received.  The new Transition Conference compliments other PCA development and welfare initiatives, such as the PCA Rookie Camp which helps players transition into the professional sport and helps us support players from start to finish of their careers.”

For more information on the PCA Personal Development and Welfare Programme click here.