From beer pong to batting

Image courtesy of Wix

What happened when I went from being a social member of Cricket to playing the game

In my first and second years of university, I lived with the current chairman of University of Kent Cricket. His role and involvement within the sport allowed me to meet a lot of cricket members as many socials were hosted in my house. In the January of my second year, he introduced me to two female members of cricket and we quickly became close friends. They both spent weeks convincing me to join the society as a player, but I refused. I have never been a big team sports person; I have always preferred doing yoga and running alone to team sports. I did, however, agree to join as a social member which turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

When I first started going to socials, I was nervous. Walking into a group of people who already knew each other, and whom all played the same sport, made me feel anxious. Pressure was added when I told my cricket housemate I was coming to my first social. His response was “but they’re my friends!” which made it clear he have issues with me being there. Still, I did not let that stop me. Besides, knowing most of the boys through my housemate, and my friendship with the two cricket girls I had befriended, made me feel a lot more comfortable when attending socials. Yet I am sure they would have been just as welcoming and friendly to anyone new to the club. I had a lot of fun joining cricket, gaining more confidence and new friends. The socials are very low pressure. No one has ever made me do anything that I was not comfortable with. The socials being mixed gender put me at ease. I have never felt as though I was trying to become part of a small, tight knit clique. Becoming a social member of cricket made my second year.

The current women's captain, Lauren Perkin, says that “socials are a big part of the club so having social members is a good way to grow and build connections with other societies, groups of people and individuals” and encouraged me to keep coming to socials even though I was not playing the sport. It is because of a drunken promise I made to her that I now play. I have never really been a sporty person and I have, on occasion, been described as lazy so I was not super keen on the idea of playing. But I had promised Lauren, so I had to at least try the sport. Now I adore playing cricket. Although I am a beginner, it is much easier than I thought and it helps that we have an amazing coach. Being part of a team and having an excuse to spend an extra few hours with my friends a couple of times a week, without feeling guilty about not doing my assignments, is something I never imagined. “But what’s the best part of actually playing cricket?” I hear you ask. You get all the best post-Vensday gossip at Thursday training, that is what. Now we are in the “refreshers” period, my advice to anyone thinking about joining a sports society as a player or as a social member; just do it. What is the worst that could happen?