Cricket: A winter's tale: How the Nottinghamshire XI who closed the season against Gloucestershire last week will spend the coming months

As a select few get ready for an Ashes tour, the game's rank and file must look elsewhere to make ends meet

CHRIS TOLLEY

(ALL-ROUNDER)

Aged 30; born Kidderminster; Notts since 1996.

"I HAVE a degree in sports science and while I was with Worcestershire I spent six winters teaching, five of them at Chase High School in Malvern, but I don't have the contacts around Nottingham. I've always been interested in fitness and rehabilitation. Last winter I trained as a sports massage therapist and I'm hoping to work in the rehab unit currently being developed in our new grandstand complex. I may go back to teaching at some stage but I would always want to do something that makes use of the degree. This winter I will be doing some coaching for the club, too. On top of that I'm also also getting married."

NOEL GIE

(BATSMAN)

Aged 21; born Pretoria, South Africa; Notts since school, debut 1995.

"IN PAST winters I have been away, once on an England Under-19 tour and a couple of times to South Africa, but this winter I plan to do a lot of studying. I'm doing a four-year course in business studies which will hopefully lead to a BA and I need to catch up on what I have missed since last April, which will involve going to lectures at Nottingham University and working at home. I'm hoping to gain some practical experience working in sales and marketing for a computer firm in Birmingham. A cricket career can last a season or 15 years and it is important to be prepared for another life. Ideally I would play for six months a year and work in business for the other six."

ANDY ORAM

(PACE BOWLER)

Aged 23; born Northampton; Notts since 1997.

"I'M GOING to play Australian grade cricket for Perth in Western Australia from October until March. The first match is on 4 October and I expect to be back for pre-season training here at the beginning of March. I want to come back physically and mentally stronger, ready for next season. A lot of players do go abroad in the winter. I was lucky enough to be approached but others fund their own trips and make contacts when they get there. The club is providing me with a car and accommodation. When I was at Northamptonshire I worked in the paper industry on the sales and marketing side. I also have an interest in a restaurant in Northampton."

MATT WHILEY

(PACE BOWLER)

Aged 18; born Nottingham; Notts from school, debut in this match (0 and 0 not out; 1 for 66 and 0 for 58).

"LAST WINTER I played club cricket in New Zealand for six months after being recommended by the county. This winter I'm going to New Zealand again with the England Under-19 squad, which came as a surprise seeing as I've only now broken into the first team. The tour does not begin until January but there are three squad sessions to attend and nets here. Until now I've been relying on some sponsorship to help with living expenses, as well as working for my dad in his plumbing and heating business. I always set my sights on being a cricketer. I've never thought about what I will do if it does not work out."

CHRIS READ

(WICKETKEEPER)

Aged 20; born Paignton; Notts since 1997.

"I WENT on the England A tours to Kenya and Sri Lanka last winter and I've been selected again for Zimbabwe and South Africa, starting in January. Before then we have a fairly extensive training schedule, with fitness sessions and a week in the Lake District on a team bonding programme. I was at university for a year when I left school but I dropped out when I decided I'd be better off playing cricket. I don't know what I'll do in future years. I might have gone into teaching if I had not played cricket but everything has happened so fast that cricket is all I think about, really. Hopefully, I've got a few years ahead of me in the game."

GRAEME ARCHER

(BATSMAN)

Aged 27; born Carlisle; Notts since 1992.

"I'LL BE working for the county on the coaching scheme for schools that we operate. I've been to New Zealand four times in past winters and I just want to rest this time. The coaching involves eight to 10 year olds, so it is not too taxing. I really enjoy doing it. I was assistant to the sports master at Durham School the year before I came on the staff. It is good fun working with the kids and you rarely have any trouble from them. The majority of cricketers find things to do off-season through contacts made in the game. Otherwise it is a case of down to the Job Centre. I'm not married and it is a lot harder for cricketers with families to support."

USMAN AFZAAL

(OPENING BATSMAN)

Aged 21; born Rawalpindi, Pakistan; Notts from school, debut 1995.

"MY PLANS for the coming winter involve buckling down to some serious fitness training as well as working on my batting with the coach and the captain. I have played for England at Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 levels and my aim for next year is to get selected for the England A tour. I'm also going to be working on the county's coaching scheme, and with that and my salary from playing I shall not need to get a job. Although I was born in Pakistan, the family moved over here when I was six or seven. They are very supportive and believe in me, and that is a great boost."

PAUL JOHNSON

(BATSMAN)

Aged 33; born Newark; Notts from school, debut 1982.

"I'VE BEEN with the county for 18 years and it used to be a financial necessity to find some work for the close season. I've done a variety of things, including jobs in sports shops and record shops and driving a lorry. Once I worked in a butcher's where we had a small abbatoir and killed our own beasts. I've been abroad a few times in the past but that's really for the younger man. When you have a family your responsibilities are at home. In my case that is especially important because I have a daughter with Down's Syndrome. I've been appointed cricket development officer for Lincolnshire, which will keep me occupied but let me spend time at home too."

JASON GALLIAN

(BATSMAN AND CAPTAIN)

Aged 27; born Manly, Australia; Notts since 1998.

"THIS IS going to be a busy winter. We have just parted company with our cricket manager and as captain, I'll be involved in planning the structure of the club for next season and will have an input in any appointments made. I'm also going to do some more work with the marketing department here. I did that last winter, before I had started playing for the county, and found it really useful in getting to know people and how things work around the place. In addition, I'm scheduled to go on a pro-am tour to Barbados and I'd also like to take time out to see my mum and sister in Australia."

PAUL FRANKS

(PACE BOWLER)

Aged 19; born Sutton-in-Ashfield; Notts from school, debut 1996.

"I WENT to South Africa on my second England Under-19 tour last winter and played for the Under-19 side again this summer. I had hopes of going on tour again this winter but did not make it, although I understand I was on the shortlist. I had a good summer, although I only played in 12 matches; I've gained a lot of experience this year. I'm going to be involved with the county's schools coaching scheme, which will take me from November through to pre-season. I'm interested in the coaching and team management side of the game. The idea of putting a county team together appeals to me as something I'd like to do in the future."

MATTHEW DOWMAN

(BATSMAN)

Aged 24; born Grantham; Notts debut 1993.

"I HAVE a slight stress fracture in the left leg that needs a period of rest, so I will not be going abroad. Last winter I was in New Zealand and I've also had a winter in Australia. I'm buying a house, so that will keep me busy in any case. The county have given me some work on their coaching scheme but I am at that age when you need to start looking to broaden your horizons. For a six-month contract the money is good but you need something for the rest of the year. I might look into studying for a business management qualification. The marketing of cricket clubs is a developing area."

Photographs by Peter Jay

THE ABSENT INJURED

MARK BOWEN

Seam bowler; aged 30; born Redcar; Notts since 1996.

A BSc honours graduate in chemical engineering, Bowen divides his year between cricket and working for British Nuclear Fuels at Sellafield, where he had established a career before Northamptonshire offered him a cricket contract. "They know they are getting someone trained and reliable so they are happy for me to work just for the winter," he said.

TIM ROBINSON

Batsman; aged 40; born Sutton-in-Ashfield; Notts since 1978.

SEVEN YEARS ago, the former England batsman opened his first sports goods shop half a mile from the Trent Bridge ground and has since expanded to three outlets in the Nottingham area. "I had three winters touring with England and others in South Africa, but you cannot go on playing cricket for ever. Setting up the business was something I did with an eye to the future."

KEVIN EVANS

Pace bowler; aged 35; born Calverton; Notts since 1984.

GAVE UP a career with NatWest bank to play cricket. Since then has driven vans for Marks & Spencer and spent four winters working on projects for the sausage and pie manufacturer Pork Farms, among other jobs. "I'm negotiating a new contract and tying up the loose ends of my benefit year so I will not be looking for employment this winter, unless anything comes up that fits in."

RICHARD BATES

Off-spin bowler; aged 26; born Stamford; Notts since 1993.

HAS PLAYED abroad but usually signs up for the county's community coaching scheme, which runs through the winter and involves visiting two or three schools each day. "It provides an income to get by on during the close season and lets you have time to practise and train which you would not get if you were in a nine-to-five job outside cricket."

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