The Professional Cricketers’ Association’s commitment to preparing players for life after cricket continues with the third PCA Personal Development Scholarship Awards.

The scholarships were introduced in 2013 to find and reward the most proactive members, past and present, on or off the pitch, in the area of Personal Development.

Submissions for this year’s Scholarship Awards are now open and will again be judged in three categories:

The Personal Development Newcomer Award for players making their first achievements in personal development

The Past Player Personal Development Award

The Current Player Personal Development Award

The winners will take home a significant financial reward that can be used towards the costs of their personal development such as costs incurred, resource costs or course fees.

Last year’s awards were shared between Derbyshire wicketkeeper Tom Poynton and Somerset batsman James Hildreth (Current Player Award), Gloucestershire seamer Liam Norwell and Sussex batsman Mike Yardy (Newcomers Award) and Sussex coach Mark Davis and former Warwickshire off-spinner Maurice Holmes (Past Players Award).

“Winning a PCA Scholarship means a lot. It’s not something I have done since school,” said Norwell, who trained as a barista.

“I was quite far outside my comfort zone so to get myself to do it and being one of the scholarship winners feels really rewarding.”

Davis completed a two year Executive MBA in Sports Management at Loughborough University which he passed with distinction.

“It’s given me so much confidence. I am very confident now in my ability. When you don’t have anything behind you, you possibly think: can I do something else after cricket and if I stopped my coaching career can I do something else?” he said.

The PCA Scholarship Awards showcase the outstanding work that is carried out by the PCAs team of Personal Development and Welfare Managers who offer a range of services, including winter workshops, work experience and career planning through personal development programmes to contracted and academy players.

Last winter 82 per cent of contracted players had an individual personal development plan alongside playing cricket which was an increase from 74 per cent in 2014 and 66 per cent in 2013.

Over 200 players attended one of the 30 workshops organised by the PCA last winter which included media training, public speaking, leadership, financial and budgeting skills and trade skills.

A third of players were involved in work experience during the off-season as part of their personal development plan and 35 per cent studied for formal qualifications.

The closing date for this year’s PCA Scholarship Awards is November 27 2015. Applications and CVs should be emailed to PCA National Lead for Personal Development & Welfare, Ian Thomas ithomas@thepca.co.uk.

The judging panel will assess the shortlisted candidates on various criteria:

Development course/s undertaken and qualifications attained

Cricketing development — where relevant Work placement/s undertaken

Community work undertaken

Willingness to embrace charitable initiatives

How they would use the additional scholarship award

Further details can be found at: http://www.thepca.co.uk/pdscholarship.html