Eight county cricketers – including Worcestershire paceman Jack Shantry – were given a rare and fascinating behind-the-scenes view of how Sky Sports News operates during a visit to the television station’s Isleworth studios.
Shantry, Northamptonshire and former England slow left armer Monty Panesar, Leicestershire pair Clint McKay and Paul Horton, Sussex paceman Tymal Mills, Gloucestershire’s Jack Taylor and David Payne and Middlesex off-spinner Ollie Rayner were joined by David Townsend, one of the PCA’s six-strong team of Personal Development and Welfare Managers, who organised the trip.
The players sat in on the morning planning meeting where the Sky Sports New team discussed the schedule for the day and the angles they might take on developing stories.
The players were also asked for their views on Sky Sports and, in particular, their coverage of cricket.
“It was great that Sky were interested in the players' opinions of their coverage and the guys were able to offer up some ideas that had worked elsewhere. Clint McKay spoke about making the viewers more familiar with the players in the Big Bash by asking them not to put their helmets on until they had taken guard,” Townsend said.
The players were then paired and spent time with each of the departments – production, gallery, newsdesk and digital media – to see how each of them worked.
The day ended with a question-and-answer session on how to develop skills to become an on-camera presenter including the use of touch screens.
This is the second year that the PCA have taken a group of players into the Sky Sports News studios to give a taster to players who might be interested in a future career in the media about what the job involves.
“It was a great experience for the players. They got to see how the whole operation worked, including all the behind-the-scenes roles so it was not just about presenting,” Townsend said.
“They were also asked for their views on a lot of areas so it was great for both sides. Sky get to know the cricketers better and see who might be a talent for the future and the players get to see what a job in this field involves.
“Ollie Rayner said he was amazed at the depth of discussion in the morning and what it took in planning to actually create a 24 hour news channel.
“This is the second year that we have taken a group of players into the Sky Sports News studios and, once again, we are grateful to Sky for allowing us to develop this initiative.”