It is a common story these days to see players planning their exit from professional cricket carefully to ensure that they are able to have a fulfilling role when they retire from playing. Many cricketers would love to stay involved in the game when the curtain is drawn on their professional careers, however, the options for players have often centred around roles in the media, administration, umpiring or in coaching. This leaves a high percentage of players left to seek roles outside of cricket for the remainder of their working lives.
At thecricketlibrary.com we strongly believe that another avenue is yet to be explored for former players and that is a transition into work as a cricket librarian. Unlike roles in the media, the work of a cricket librarian is not a lucrative pursuit, in fact most librarians are in effect working for the love of the subject matter as much as the miserly pay cheque that is attached to the role. This means that it will attract a special type of person who has an overarching love of the game and books filled with anecdotes of memorable on field achievements, change room banter and selection room meetings.
Not that you can judge a book by its cover, it is fair to say that cricket librarians are a unique group of people with a set of characteristics that lend themselves to the task. With this in mind, we have come up with a list of players that we think would have what it takes to cut it in the world of the cricket librarian.
Of the current crop of players, Chris Rogers appears to be a standout choice. The fact that he wears glasses is an obvious selling point in the job interview process as it gives the impression of being the studious type. In addition to this, his proven ability to bat for long periods of time would put him in good stead for making his way through the hours of cataloguing that is required for your average cricket library.
Daniel Vettori has proven leadership credentials and a cricketing track record that speaks for itself. Add to this his bushy beard and spectacles, we feel he could win the borrowing public over without too much effort.
Chris Woakes is the new kid on the block for the English cricket team and is making waves with younger fans. The stylish all rounder would probably need to serve his time as a book monitor before progressing to librarian status but we feel he has what it takes if he is willing to put in the hard work.
There is no cooler customer in world cricket than Chris Gayle. Though his phlegmatic approach may cause frustration to the more meticulous type, there is no question, the ‘cool kids’ would give the library a second chance if Chris Gayle was behind the loans desk.
He has rock star status in India and is a gifted wicket keeper batsman with oodles of natural talent. We feel that MS Dhoni could easily transfer his skills to cataloguing books, though the glut of other opportunities could see him lured away from a career as a librarian.
The top shelf is often requiring a step ladder for librarians to reach, posing an ever increasing workplace health and safety conundrum. This would not be a concern for the 1.91m tall Pakistan superstar Umar Gul. He could easily see himself rapidly promoted to focus on the hard to reach sections of the shelves.
When it comes to likeable cricketers, the gifted Kumar Sangakkara would be at the top of the list for many people. An elegant stroke maker and handy gloveman, would be an asset to any library.
Anyone who plays three consecutive reverse sweeps to bring up a Test Match hundred, has the skills to excel at almost anything. AB DeVilliers has shown that he is a natural who keeps producing the goods on the field for South Africa and we feel that as a librarian he would not let you down.
There are no doubt others, given the necessary training and direction who could hold their own at the loans desk and complete difficult tasks such following through with ill disciplined borrowers who fail to return their books on time.