Ismail is a 15-year-old cricketer who has been playing for a minor county team since the U12 level. He developed his interest in cricket from his father who was the opening batsman for a major county side for many years. Last year, he was scouted by a major county sid and was invited to join their winter training camp for the U17 squad in preparation for the upcoming season.
Excited by the prospect of playing a higher level, Ismail committed to the training which was over two hours away and held three times a week, twice after school and one-weekend session. Ismail’s mum changed her work hours in order to travel with him to ensure that he could attend the required sessions, with the family planning to move closer to the new training ground in the future.
A skilled fast bowler, Ismail settled into the squad training quickly and started to make friends among the players. However, although he did not feel out of his depth with the more demanding technical side of the training, the additional travel and increased frequency of training meant that he regularly felt exhausted and fell asleep in the car, resulting in poor sleep at night. Despite this, he was pleased with his performance and this kept him positive, as did his growing relationships with his coaches and team.
He was, therefore, upset and frustrated when he fractured his arm the day before the first game of the season. This was the first injury he had suffered. He was expecting to feature in the bowling line-up but now he would miss at least the first six games. Ismail was concerned about how his injury would impact his place on the team. After the first missed game, Ismail’s mum shared her worries about him with his coach
‘He has been distant at home and not been himself, getting angry and upset about small things. I think he is really struggling with not being able to play.’
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