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Hampshire batsman Tom Alsop planning for the future with the PCA.
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Keaton Jennings revealed that his England recall this week had forced him to rearrange an accountancy exam – and Hampshire opener Tom Alsop is heading in the same direction.
The 22-year-old left-hander is combining his battle to establish himself in the county’s first-team with a long-distance course, set-up by the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme.
“It is a distance learning thing but it is accredited by the AAT,” Alsop said with an eye on his long-term future. “I’m doing it through the PCA.
“Part of my family are in accounting. My uncle is a head auditor at Deloitte so in terms of prep help there is a nice network there that I can use.
“Business and the financial world is something I would be interested in going into after cricket.
“Accounting gives you an overall good understanding of how a business works and how it operates.
“I like the way maths is either right or wrong, there are no grey areas, so if the sums all add up then you know you have done a good job.
"There is no guarantee that I will become an accountant, but it is something good to do.”
Alsop endured a difficult 2017 after making his big breakthrough over the previous 12 months, capitalising on a surprise England Lions call-up to impress a range of judges including Graham Thorpe and Andy Flower.
He has had to be patient again this year, with only one Specsavers County Championship appearance so far alongside a couple of outings in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
But he has learned to knuckle down, and take his frustrations out on opposition bowlers when he gets his chance in the middle – with plenty of runs in the second team keeping up the pressure on the Hampshire management.
“It is nice to have that clarity to get my head down and score runs and force my way back into the team,” Alsop said.
“I have been in this situation a few times before where I haven’t really started in the first team.
“In the past I have been guilty of looking for other things to blame and getting down but having had that past experience of not so easy time then it has enabled me to have the clarity of not making the same mistakes.
“I am not dwelling on it I am just getting my head down. As many batters have said before, runs are your best currency.
“The runs have come this season and enabled me to get back in the side.
“Sometimes patience wears thin when you get low scores or you get lack of opportunities but that has definitely got better.”
“You just have to respect the times when the runs aren’t coming and keep the faith that in the future it will be your turn to contribute and it makes the good times even better.”
Alsop, alongside fellow academy graduate Joe Weatherley, is waiting for Jimmy Adams’ career to come to an end before creating a new opening batting dynasty.
Weatherley has starred in the 50-over competition, averaging 70 in the opening five fixtures, including his maiden first team century, to help Hampshire stroll towards the knockout stages.
Alsop and Weatherley’s styles suit each other both and off the field, with Alsop hoping the duo can replicate their youth team successes.
Alsop said: “It has definitely crossed my mind that in the next couple of years the likes of Jimmy and Sean Ervine will probably be retiring.
“We have both been told by the club that me and Tom opening is their ideal so it is down to us now to do our part of that.
“Joe and I get on very well, we are both quiet characters, we love batting and like talking batting.
“We’ve had many, many opening partnerships in the years gone by in academy and second XI cricket.
“We have grown up together so it is hard to see him as competition or rival, he is more a friend and great to see him doing well recently.”
Find out more about the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme.