“Will you be milking cows in 10 years’ time or will you be Yorkshire’s batting coach?”
Two very different future career paths, but they are the ones currently facing Yorkshire star Gary Ballance, as revealed on the club’s latest Covers Off podcast.
The question was posed by co-host Rich Pyrah, Yorkshire’s current bowling coach in last week’s edition.
Pyrah and all-rounder Tim Bresnan were chatting to Ballance, the left-hander who grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe before moving to the UK to take up a scholarship at Harrow School and then moving on to county contracts with Derbyshire and Yorkshire.
Ballance, 30-years-old, has since amassed 11,282 first-class runs, including 40 centuries. He has played 23 Tests and 15 one-day internationals for England, totalling more than 16,000 runs across all three formats.
But he has revealed that he has one eye on a future beyond piling on the runs. An ‘udder’ career, you might say!
“They always tell you that you’ve got to look forward to the future,” Ballance explained.
“Obviously I’ve still got family in Zimbabwe.
“My dad’s out there, my brother and my mum, and they’ve been looking to buy some cows. Hopefully we can get a good number of cows and I can get a bit of an income for when I retire.
“My dad’s only just started it up, so I think it’s in single figures at the moment. Hopefully after a few years we’ll get it up to triple figures.
“You’ve got to think outside of the box!”
A more obvious post playing career would see Ballance stay in the game, however, though it will be music to supporters’ ears to know he is still a heck of a long way from targeting Paul Grayson’s current post.
“I really enjoy – not that I’ve done much coaching – talking about cricket and obviously batting,” he said. “I would like in some way to become a coach.
“Like I said there, I enjoy talking to the young lads about batting.
“I’d love to be a batting coach – wherever that is I don’t know. I’d love to help young batters because I feel like I can play some part in that.
“But hopefully I’ve got plenty more years of playing cricket and that will be a bit later rather than sooner.”
Pyrah then told Ballance: “The way you speak to some of the younger lads, it would be a shame if you didn’t go into it.
“Your knowledge of batting and of the game, it would be a shame not to share that once you finish playing.”
Ballance added: “I’ve learnt a lot from playing with guys over the years and have seen how some guys have gone into coaching, like yourself Rich and Anthony McGrath, and have done so well.
“It would be nice to do that in the future.”
Ballance has been one of seven interviewees on the weekly Covers Off podcast, with Adam Lyth, Joe Root, Duanne Olivier, Anthony McGrath and Richard Damms also featuring so far.