White ball specialist not resting on successful career in professional cricket.

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Sussex T20 captain and England international Luke Wright has jumped at the first opportunity to gain a master’s degree in sport directorship, after a hectic playing schedule had prevented him from doing so over the course of the last decade.

Wright, 34, made a name for himself as a limited overs trailblazer, appearing for the likes of Sussex Sharks, Melbourne Stars, Pune Warriors and Karachi Kings in T20 tournaments around the globe throughout his playing career so far.

He has also represented his national side on a combined 101 occasions in ODIs and T20Is, and was a key part of England’s successful 2010 ICC World Twenty20 campaign, averaging 30 with the bat during the tournament.

“Playing around the world for the last 10 years I’ve never had much of a chance to do that side of my development,” Wright said.

“When the opportunity came up this year with me not doing quite as much it made quite a lot of sense – I’m 34 now so I’ve suddenly come to that moment where you know you’re not going to last forever.”

The Bottesford-born man clearly recognises the importance of having something to fall back on outside of the professional game. He is therefore set to take advantage of a relatively clear schedule to go back into studying, beginning a two year Master of Sport Directorship (MSD) degree at Manchester Metropolitan University on 4 September.

“I’ve been very lucky to have such a long career but there are a lot of players who aren’t so lucky. If you do get the chance to develop yourself a little bit more in the winter then it makes sense to do it.

“Hopefully I’ve still got four or five years left in the game, but I’m already starting to think about my future and it’s something I’ve tried to pass onto the younger players as well.

“I’m going to do two days every six weeks up in Manchester and the whole degree is based around coursework and various assignments. I’m really looking forward to it.”

The 34-year-old is building on his existing skillset, having already gained his ECB level three coaching qualification just over a year ago. He is also hopeful of moving up to level four as soon as his he has completed his upcoming master’s degree.

The Professional Cricketers’ Association runs a multi-faceted Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP), which aims to improve cricketers’ performance by minimising distractions during their playing careers, as well as helping them to better prepare for life after cricket.

The players’ association will contribute 50% of individual personal development courses up to a maximum of £1,500 (i.e. a £3,000 course qualifies for a £1,500 reimbursement). More information about course options and funding can be found on the PCA’s website.

The association also runs a number of taster courses, actively encouraging players such as Wright to develop new transferable skills and enhance existing ones, as well as trying out potential careers when they step away from the game.

“We’re so well-supported by the PCA. They’re always pushing us to do extra courses and there’s the funding there to do it. There’s enough support there to go and do it while you’re lucky enough to play cricket so it would be silly not to.”

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