Jake Ball and Luke Fletcher have come a long way.
From a shared flat in Gamston, where their worries centred around ‘who is going to pick up the Mcflurries’, to now being senior members of the Nottinghamshire squad, the pair admit they can scarcely believe how far they’ve come.
Coming into the squad as youngsters, the advice and standards set by senior players were crucial in showing what it meant to play for Nottinghamshire, a responsibility the pair now carry themselves.
“Having experienced players in the dressing room has been an important thing for me so far in my career,” said host of the Talk of Trent Bridge podcast Ball.
“When I first started here and when I made the step up into the England dressing room, the senior lads are the ones who set the benchmark for the team.
“They are the players that set the values and culture of the team and I think it’s important, now that we are senior players, that we set the right mentality and attitude for the Club going forward.”
Fletcher added: “It’s strange though.
“You look at Jack Blatherwick and Lyndon James and lads like that. All the good times they have coming up. We’ve done 11 years of that and we’re going the other way.”
Ball added: “It’s the question that we get now isn’t it, ‘what are you going to do at the end of your career’ and I’m like ‘trying not to think of that mate’.”
The prospect of life after cricket has weighed heavily on the mind of Fletcher of late, as he describes in the video above, which has sped up the process of future-proofing his career.
“As soon as you decided you’re going to be a professional sportsperson, in any discipline, you’re also deciding that you are going to have two careers,” said Performance Psychologist Matt Thompson.
Fletcher added: “It’s scary!
“What has helped me is doing something. It’s alright thinking about doing it, but when you actually get it done – when you’ve got a certificate and learned something new about another subject - you start feeling better about yourself.
“Especially when you have a baby, the responsibility is there to provide for them long into the future. It’s not just about yourself.
“That’s not to say I’m not going to enjoy my career, I’ve got a few more years left in me yet.”
It's jolly convenient to receive latest news, ticket information and behind the scenes exploits direct to your inbox and we'll never pass on your information to others. Join our mailing list here...