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A guide to starting cricket as an Adult Beginner!

Updated: Apr 20

Starting to learn cricket can be challenging, as there are so many skills to master and laws to remember. You must be able to perform consistently to a level where you start to enjoy playing. However, the beauty of cricket is that you are never too old to begin to learn the game. A player's age does not define this game; even some of the greatest cricketers were still learning about the game upon retirement.

Businessman standing and looking outside of office window with pride

Whether you're a reasonably fit 30-year-old or a retired 65- to 70-year-old working professional looking for something to keep you busy, it's never too late to start learning the game of cricket. Age never defines sport, and the principle of "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" does not apply to the beauty of cricket.

My father was a high-level club cricketer during his youth and prime playing days. He once returned to cricket after a 20-plus-year break to play cricket again at the age of 58+, only to be awarded best batsman of the year for the club's averages in his comeback season.

Your reactions will be slower, and the technique may not be as good as others, but this won't be an issue. There are so many leagues and various levels to accommodate all types of players and abilities.

Even if you have always wanted to play county cricket but think you are too old, there's still a chance. Most counties have multiple over 50's teams that you can trial with learn more here: Warwickshire CCC over 50's

No matter how old you are here are some quick tips to get you started in the right way;

Tip #1 - Find a good coach

Most people will usually advise you to find a club at a lower standard and level first. The problem with this approach is that most clubs may not have specialized coaches who can help you progress or develop your game.

The second issue is that they may not have teams suitable to your current level. As a first-timer, you may be unable to compete with their cricket offerings. Or they may not have teams that play in non-competitive leagues or vast amounts of friendly matches week in and week out.

Therefore, it would be much better to find an independent coach in your area who specializes in helping first-time cricketers with the basic skills of batting, bowling, wicket-keeping, fielding, and understanding the various laws of the game. They will also be a great mentor to guide you to the right club and level of cricket as they have vast exposure to different clubs and leagues in the area.

Tip #2 - Practice Practice Practice!

You must keep practicing whenever and wherever possible regardless of your fitness levels or stamina. Even if you're at home or in the garden, you can do several things to keep learning what you have been taught by a coach or from a YouTube video you have watched. Pick up a ball and bowl down the alleyway or corridor of your house with a softball. Shadow bat in front of the mirror. Throw a ball against the garden wall and ensure you take the catches correctly. There are so many things you can do to master your skills. You can find thousands of home cricket training aids on Amazon, eBay, and from cricket suppliers for home practice. Your coaches can recommend some or even let you borrow what you need.

Although there are thousands of negatives surrounding social media, you will be surprised to learn the amount of community help you can get online from experienced cricketers and coaches. Don't be afraid to upload some video clips to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and ask for advice online. You will be amazed at how many people will respond and advise you on your batting, bowling, fielding, wicketkeeping, and general knowledge. If you're uncomfortable doing this, you can join several blog sites and forums to discuss cricket.

"If you train hard winning is easy...If you train easy winning is hard!" 

Tip #3 - Cricket Equipment

Buying expensive, top-of-the-range cricket equipment can give you confidence and a feel-good moment. However, you as a player need to be able to use the equipment correctly. If you struggle to hold a bat or play a shot, would a £650 bat justify your needs?

As a beginner, you will most likely start with low-level friendly cricket. The pitch conditions and type of match balls you will play with are more likely to damage your expensive bat. Why would you need a Grade 1 or Pro Player level bat if you are playing social, non-competitive cricket?

You're ideally looking for a basic starter set. Some cricket shops and online stores offer cricket bundles with everything you need, which cost much less than buying each item individually.

"So what do I need to get started?" Our personal advice is to get the following items to begin your cricket journey. You should not be looking to spend more than you need to. The suggested prices and costs are rough estimates based on the current market rates. You may find older models and last-season items at lower prices during the winter sales and clearances.

  • Grade 3 or 4 cricket bat, you could even buy grade 5 if you are playing a very low level of cricket ( Adult short handle 'SH' if you're taller than 6' 2" you made need a long handle 'LH') up to £120

  • A good cricket helmet with protection all around £40 - 60

  • Thigh Pad (You may only need an outer thigh pad, not an inner one to begin with, it's a personal choice if you want a Combi thigh pad) Single £10-18 Combi (£20-40)

  • 4). Abdo Guard (also known as a box) £3 - £10

  • 5). Batting Gloves (Basic Club Level) £20 - 30

  • 6). Batting Pads/leg guards (Basic Club Level) £25 - £35

  • 7). Cricket Bag (it's a personal choice if you wish to get a wheel bag or a duffle bag; some players use any standard sports holdall bag) £30 - £60

  • 8). Full Cricket Spikes (For outdoor matches) £25 - £35

  • 9). Match Day Cricket Whites (Trousers, Shirt, Jumper, Protective Shorts or Jockstrap for your Abdo guard) up to a total of £70 Slazenger range from Sports Direct. (Most cricket clubs will have their own club branded range that you can buy as well)

Tip #4 - Joining a Cricket Club

Ideally, you want to find a cricket club that plays a lot of friendly matches on a Sunday or in a Sunday league. This is because the level is not that competitive and more relaxed. It tends to be more sociable giving everyone a chance to be involved with bowling and batting without any pressure to perform as you develop your cricketing skills and abilities.

Women's competitive cricket is usually played on a Sunday following men's Saturday league competitive cricket. However, if you find a good club that does not play adult Sunday cricket, they mainly focus on Saturday league cricket. Do not worry; you can register for Saturday cricket and still play Sunday cricket at another club. If you do decide to join a Saturday-focused club, there are some things I recommend you check out.

See how many teams the club has. If they have a third and fourth team or even possibly more, this will be great as they will have sides that play in competitive leagues. With a more social play style of giving everyone a go, winning and losing won't be so critical that your performances and contributions would be an issue. You would have the freedom to play how you want without your performance being questioned, and you would be encouraged to participate and enjoy it, which would help you develop and grow as you gain more and more playing experience.

Lastly, find a club with many coaches to help you progress and develop as an adult cricketer. Most of the coaching will be free as part of your club and player membership and in most cases. Many club coaches are also players at the club with whom you will most likely play matches. Most of them will be happy to give you one-on-one coaching or during club training.

Tip #5 - Winter training

The best way to start your cricketing journey is to get involved with clubs during the winter season training. This can be anytime between November and late March or early April, depending on the cricket club and its schedule. Winter training for each cricket club is usually after working hours on the evenings or weekends at a school sports hall, as very few clubs have their own indoor cricket nets.

This is a great way to get involved and get a sense of the level of players the club has to see where you fit in. It's also a great way to get a feel for whether they have suitable coaching to help you develop as a player. What kind of standard and level do they play? Is it more competitive or sociable or, in most cases, both as they have so many teams on a Saturday and; or Sunday? You will be able to learn quickly what level of cricket is like for each team and your chances of getting fair matches and opportunities to bat and bowl or even wicket-keep.

You can easily identify if the club is right for you.

Tip #6 - Learn the laws of the game and match formats!

Many beginners forget to learn the game's general laws, which can create unexpected and embarrassing moments. Ideally, you make the wrong decisions if you have to do square-leg umpiring, work out the overs, or set your field according to the league match format.

First, use the ECB General rules of non-first-class cricket (this applies to non-county-level cricket). You can find the information here. Then, ask the club you decide to join what leagues and competitions the teams play in and visit the various league websites for information regarding match guidelines and rules, as each league has its own variations and guidelines.

Some clubs also provide players with a league handbook each season containing league fixtures, essential updates, general league changes, etc.

Final thoughts

Generally, the best advice from us ; is to take your time getting into the sport. Don't be too eager to rush in especially if the summer season has already started. Its about taking time to find the right fit.

As you can easily be turned off from the sport altogether; if you tend not to find the right club that can provide you with the right needs and coaching.

Good luck and happy cricketing from Ali Choudhry Cricket Coaching.



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