Former PCA Chairman now coaches in the Middle East.

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Two years after swapping the midlands for the Middle East, ex-Warwickshire man Dougie Brown has discussed his philosophy of wanting to create life-changing opportunities in his role as Head Coach of the Emirates Cricket Board.

Brown was forced to retire from playing after suffering an Achilles tendon injury in 2007, the conclusion of an outstanding career which saw him score 8,511 runs and take 567 wickets on the first-class stage. Since then, Brown has coached at Warwickshire, but in January 2017 he left for pastures new to succeed outgoing head coach Owais Shah in the UAE.

The PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme aids members such as Brown as they transition out of their playing careers. Through the programme, PCA members can access funding towards education courses, including ECB coaching qualifications, dependant on a successful application.

Below, Brown discusses his career, his transition out of professional cricket and his excitement at trying something completely different in the Middle East.

  • You enjoyed an 18 year professional cricketing career. What contributed to your longevity?
  • Well, considering I wasn’t the most talented player, I’m very proud of the fact that I managed to play for so long. Warwickshire had some considerable success throughout the period I was involved. Being part of that and having some exceptional players around me every day really helped to inspire and motivate me to get every little bit out of my ability.
  • What were the major challenges you faced during this time and how did you overcome them?
  • As a professional cricketer you are faced with challenges every day of your career, whether it’s an injury, niggle, loss of form or being out of favour. My focus was always believing that if I worked as hard as I could on my own game then everything else would fall into place. Being a model professional in that cricketing environment and in my preparation helped me to look beyond the challenges that lay in my path.
  • You were voted in as PCA Chairman. How did that role benefit your development?
  • Being PCA Chairman was a fantastic learning experience for me. At the time, the game was changing incredibly quickly. More money was coming into cricket which contributed to some real challenges. Working closely with some excellent people at the PCA was a real eye-opener to the commercial world outside of our little cricket bubble. The job that Richard Bevan, our CEO, did in taking both the PCA and all its members, past and present, from where it began to where it currently sits in the world game is staggering.
  • When did you start to consider your career after playing? Did you have a plan?
  • It actually started before I began playing cricket professionally. I had always wanted to be a PE teacher and studied for four years at the early part of my playing career. During the winter periods I would coach in the Warwickshire age group programmes in addition to supply teaching in Birmingham. As my career developed, I discovered what sort of coach I wanted to be and created more and more opportunities to put myself in that environment.
  • What advice would you give current players considering a career in coaching?
  • Have a plan. Don’t be put off by disappointment. Learn from each and every experience. Don’t think you’re going to change the world with your coaching. Finally, be true to yourself as a coach!
  • You’ve been the Head Coach of the Emirates Cricket Board for over two years now. What are the cultural and cricketing challenges of coaching abroad?
  • Understanding the differing languages and cultures has been a really interesting challenging for me, particularly in a country as diverse as the United Arab Emirates. How to manage one player may be very different to managing another from a different culture, so appreciating and understanding this is really important to me. Respecting these differences whilst at the same time developing our own team culture has been really challenging but ultimately very rewarding for over two years now.
  • In terms of cricket, every coach has their own set of unique challenges. Despite having some of the best facilities in the world, our pool of players that we can actively select from is actually very small. We are actively trying to create a bigger pool for us to choose from within the UAE. This will take time but I have no doubt that once there is this competition within our environment then cricket in the UAE will thrive.
  • What are your ambitions for the future?
  • To continue to grow as a coach and as a person, and to do as good a job as I am able to do for UAE cricket. I want to create life-changing opportunities for as many UAE players as possible. After that, we’ll see.
  • Would you have done anything differently as a player that would have helped your transition from the game?
  • Probably many things to be honest. However, I was very lucky to get a lot of good opportunities before my playing career finished. Any experience is good experience so I think it’s important to create as many opportunities for yourself whilst you have the time. Without doubt, it will help you to benefit in some way later on, regardless of which direction you want to go in when you finish playing.

For more information on the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme click here or contact your regional Personal Development Manager.