“I’ve grown up playing club cricket, relying on volunteers when I was a young boy to be able to go out there and play.”
Middlesex and England fast bowler Steven Finn is just one of many players who can attribute part of their cricketing success to those people who helped them on their journey – the coaches, the caterers, the umpires, the fixture secretaries, the drivers.
Cricket is a sport built on the selflessness and generosity of these volunteers.
More than 42,000 people regularly give their time to help make club cricket happen every weekend.
On the field, over 14,000 captains, 6,500 groundsmen and 6,800 umpires contributed to the playing of 158,000 matches in 2015. Simply put, that’s a lot of people making a lot of cricket happen!
Wondering where or how you can get involved?
Below is a bite-sized guide to five of the common roles found in clubs throughout the country to help you decide what area is best for you.
If you want to be part of the cricket volunteering family, register your interest here and we’ll take care of the rest.
Time is precious and modern life is busy for everyone. Some of the below roles can be shared with others and helping out on just four or five match days a season will greatly benefit your local club.
Remember, there are no recruitment limits and whatever role you play – no matter how big or small – makes a huge difference on and off the field!
The groundsman is a key cog in the wheel of club cricket. The main focus of this role is to provide good quality pitches for all cricket played at the club, including men’s, women’s and junior fixtures.
In practice, this translates to tasks such as preparing match-day wickets over the course of a season; mowing, rolling and repairing the square; leading on ground and outfield upkeep during the season; and pre- and post-season preparation of the square and ground. Find out more about maintaining and developing cricket grounds.
The coach is responsible for leading coaching within the club and will work alongside the other club coaches to provide exciting and safe sessions for club members. The coach will oversee these sessions with support from coaching assistants. Other elements of the role include liaising with team managers on specific coaching requirements and mentoring new coaches coming into the club, providing them with useful feedback and development points. Learn more about getting into cricket coaching here.
Cricket is a numbers game and scorers, naturally, play a vital role. As a scorer, you will accurately record statistics on a ball-to-ball basis and calculate overall scores for the teams and individual batsmen and bowlers. You will also need to communicate effectively with the match umpire. Get a head start by registering for our free beginners’ online club scorer course.
Umpires are the judge of what constitutes fair and unfair play so one of your main responsibilities is to umpire matches in the spirit of the game in addition to upholding the Laws of Cricket. As with the scorer above, communication with players and other officials is of huge importance – the umpire sets the tone for the conduct of a match. You might not have Hawk-Eye but as long as you do your best in every game, that is what matters. The ECB Association of Cricket Officials' courses will help you move from enthusiast to umpire.
5 Club caterer
An army marches on its stomach, so the saying goes, and the club cricket ranks from junior through to open age are no exception. The caterer manages a club’s food requirements for match days and functions, organising the provision of afternoon teas for games as required and being the first point of contact for catering queries. This is a sometimes overlooked but always integral match-day role with endless opportunities to serve up something out of the ordinary.
The above five are just a few of the essential areas of cricket volunteering and there are plenty of roles outside of these that you might find interesting. Learn more about these different volunteering roles.
Last but not least: experience for all of the above is not necessary, a little enthusiasm and commitment goes a long way!