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Record numbers inducted at PCA Rookie Camp

The Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) held a record breaking Rookie Camp this week with Nathan Gilchrist and Tom Lammonby amongst the 37 young cricketers inducted into the professional game.

The ninth PCA Rookie Camp saw more players present than ever before at the annual event which took place at Edgbaston. Hosted by the PCA and supported by the Tom Maynard Trust, the day brought together rookies who have recently signed their first professional cricket contract.

Four members of the England Young Lions squad who recently visited Bangladesh travelled to Birmingham, including captains for the tour, Somerset’s Tom Lammonby and Surrey’s Jamie Smith while Scotland’s Tom Sole and Zimbabwe’s Blessing Muzarabani were arguably the most senior players in attendance, having already played multiple games of international cricket.

Representatives from 15 counties attended the event, which forms part of the PCA’s Personal Development and Welfare Programme. The initiative saw eight different workshops delivered, detailing the support and guidance the PCA offers cricketers throughout and after their professional career.

The record number of rookies had educational sessions on social media, anti-corruption, DIY (Don’t Involve Yourself) law, understanding agents and a number of Q&As with current and former players.

Warwickshire and England bowler Olly Stone joined Somerset’s Jack Brooks in discussing their career paths, dealing with injuries and what it is like to live the dream, while fellow PCA members Patrick Foster and Graham Wagg held sessions on their past misdemeanours.

Former Northants man Foster had the county newcomers on tenterhooks as he explained his pain in spiralling into a gambling addiction, which almost ended his life after leaving the game. Current Glamorgan all-rounder Wagg gave a candid talk on how taking cocaine in 2004 saw him banned and his career ruined before he rebuilt his life.

Director of Personal Development and Welfare Ian Thomas said: “PCA Rookie Camp is a vital day in the calendar for the Association. It provides an eye-opening experience to the resilience required to deal with the journey each player will go on throughout their career, regardless of if it ends after one-year or they play for two decades.

“For many, Rookie Camp was an introduction to the PCA and every player left Edgbaston understanding the value of being a life-long member of the Association which is crucial to us.

“We wish all of the players all of the best for their careers and we look forward to supporting them on every step of their journey.”

To find out more about the PCA Personal Development and Welfare Programme click here.

Images courtesy of Getty Images

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