Prafull Shikare lives and works in Switzerland, playing his cricket for Winterthur Cricket Club and on occasion representing Switzerland. He put his name forward and was accepted as a 2019 Cricket World Cup volunteer in England this summer, a "Cricketeer". Prafull has agreed to share his experience & his journey with us.
As a child growing up in India, watching the unbelievable views of Lords Cricket Ground on TV, I have to say it was nothing short of a dream to reach Lords Cricket Ground and even touch the turf
of the playing field.
Dreams come true.. stay positive and stay clean.
So why did I go there? And why is it interesting to share the story with fellow Cricketers from Switzerland and beyond.
Well a couple of months back, I gave a shot at applying for a volunteer job of Cricket World Cup 2019 scheduled to happen in UK. Not only did I get selected after multiple rounds of interviews but also got my preferred ground i.e. Lords.
From just an attempt as a trial it suddenly became serious when the organizers started sharing more details about what it means to be part of the working group behind the scenes of an
Truly a golden opportunity for a cricket lover like me to say I have played this beautiful game, followed it closely and also actively participated in the international world cup.
So the opportunity started on 5th April 2019 when I flew to London for a day trip to Lords for all day training.
Here is how the day went, short account of it without sharing details.
Something about that ground brings out the child like excitement and just the pure happiness of being inside the premises is just incredible.
Organizers started the event with a big welcome and asked the groups to sit at pre-assigned tables, followed by some basic information about the game including fun activities and quiz.
On to the more serious part of the training, starting with obviously most important aspect which is safety and security at the venue. The session was lead by funny yet serious head of security for the venue, with multiple eye opening instructions and guidelines for volunteers to help his team avoid any incident in or outside the ground.
With some fun games and trivia, and strong hunger going, it was a wise idea by organizers to call it a Lunch break
Following lunch was probably the most popular section of the training which was a detailed ground tour. Obviously I cannot share all details but if anyone wants to know number of water fountains, toilets, cool bars, famous people who live just across the street, oldest museum and how player pavilion actually looks like just ask me, as anyway that’s my job as a volunteer on the game days :)
After the tour and number of photo opportunities, everyone again gathered in the ‘pavilion’ for a detailed tasks and responsibilities. Even joined by former England cricketer James Taylor (video
message). Clear instructions were provided through a journey of the match day with references, venue overview, structure of the shifts and so on.
Of course there were goodies to end the day, volunteering is after all not completely free if you really think about it. We all received a volunteer kit including some cool things.
A truly memorable day in my life which I am sharing hoping it inspires more people to consider volunteering. It’s just the beginning as the real fun will begin with the world cup this summer in which the ‘Cricketeers’ will play a huge part in making it the best ever. Hope to welcome you.