Hi!!! Welcome to this episode of Wanderscapes In this episode I will be sharing my experience as a volunteer in the Cricket World Cup tournament in the UK So, wait and watch In almost every sports event in the UK – be it Olympics, Rugby, Commonwealth Games, Golf, Cricket or football – they have this concept of volunteers The volunteers help to run the events smoothly So, before every such tournaments, the respective associations or sports body will announce on their websites that they are looking for volunteers When we come to know about the requirement, we can apply When we apply we will have to give some relevant information There might be some sort of test, interview etc There was an interview before I was selected as a Cricket Volunteer I had volunteered during Champions trophy two years ago So, I had that a prior experience as cricket volunteer Once selected, we will be given training – a one day training to familiarise us with the duties we have to perform The volunteers work in different shifts over different days We come to the venue on the day of our duty and work during the shift That is the process in a nutshell As I am doing the first day’s shift, I need to get my accreditation and Volunteer Id card I have been waiting for some time now. There is a long queue ahead Anyway, I have to wait for my turn. Can’t do anything without that card The volunteering services in Cricket covers many areas The spectator services team are to help the spectators with any query they might have and to provide information Other than that, the volunteers help with logistics, transport, media services, flag services, hospitality services and so on. The volunteers help with five or eight various aspects of the tournament Among these, most number of volunteers are required for spectator services This involve works/activities in and around the ground to support the spectators – even before the game starts and long after the game is over I had chosen spectator services during the Champions Trophy Tournament and this World Cup We can do various types of volunteering services according to our preference The organisers tell us that we can choose the shifts during the games A volunteer has to do at least 3 shifts – minimum Even in that, one of the shift should be in Fan Zone The other two shifts can be completed during match days This was one of the conditions for Volunteering in this World Cup So I chose a Fan Zone shift on the day before India-Pakistan match. It was organised at the Cathedral Gardens in Manchester and I chose that for my Fan Zone duty I also volunteered on two match days – India Vs Pakistan and Australia Vs South Africa My first shift was at Manchester Fan park Although it was a rainy day, several activities were organised there to entertain and engage the public Even though rain played spoilsport, whatever could be done was done in the best possible manner Rain dampened the spirits a little bit, but as the skies cleared, things picked up It was an interesting experience altogether On match days, the Volunteers have to report for duty three hours before the start of the match We will be served some refreshments and would be briefed about our duties We will be told what are our specific duties and which part of the ground we should be in and all other relevant information We will also be given the information cards and leaflets to be distributed among the public We are also given maps and other useful information like stand location and the like Once we are given these handouts and all, we are assigned various positions in and around the venue. The volunteers doing spectator services will then go to their assigned spot and perform their duties for the day/shift The gates are opened for the public two hours before the start of the game By then, the Volunteers should be ready at their respective spot Once the public arrives, we have to help them and guide them. We answer their queries Those are some of the main duties we perform as cricketeer volunteers in the spectator services The match has started The ground is almost full now I think 70-75% of them are Indian supporters Pakistan supporters are lesser in number. But they are colourfully dressed The atmosphere here is vibrant and energetic today Fans are all enjoying – they are singing, dancing, decked up and having loads of fun We can soak the energy from around and enjoy it There is a big screen near the ground. We can follow the game on that This is our break time area/canteen We check in here during breaks – we have our snacks and tea during the breaks from here Now it is lunch time and we are here to have our lunch We get variety of options to choose from Today I have opted for rice, chickpeas curry and the like. Not bad… So, this is our area One thing i forgot to mention is about the uniform of the cricketeers The Uniform comprises of a T-shirt, pants, a backpack, water bottle, cap, a pair of trainers from New Balance and a jacket It is a good uniform – the colour combination is good and vibrant The main colour is blue The uniform gives us a unique identity It is of good quality and so we can keep it as a memorabilia I have the kept the Champions Trophy uniform too as a memorabilia So, the uniform too is a good way to remember the experience forever That’s another interesting factor I wished to share with you So the India Vs. Pakistan match has now ended at Old Trafford Cricket Ground at Manchester India has won the match My shift is also over now It was a good experience, as usual All India Vs. Pakistan matches are unique experiences as the energy levels and passion is always high The atmosphere is festive with songs and dance – it is something we don’t see during other matches Even the matches between England or Australia pale in comparison India – Pakistan matches are the most exciting matches The fans are pumped up and celebrate cricket during these times and hence they are a treat to watch I absolutely enjoyed the experience. But it is now time for me to go back to Liverpool I will be back here for another match soon. See you then I am assigned to the spectator services team But today, as I reported for duty, I was asked if I would be interested to join the flag team for the Aus Vs. SA match I said Yes as it is a good opportunity to do something new So, today I shall be doing flag services too as a part of my duties And I am given the opportunity to hold the SA globe during the signing of the national anthems before the match It is a golden opportunity for me to get on to the field with both the teams The players will be walking by my side and I can’t tell you how excited I am feeling right now This is once in a life time opportunity for me It will be amazing to stand right next to the players as the national anthems are played It would definitely be a fabulous experience We are practising for the same now Pre-match National Anthem singing and flag ceremony would take around 10 min But we have been practising for the same for over two hours now It is a well choreographed event and we can’t afford to make any mistakes The kids are also getting ready to lead the players on to the field The players will join on the field and hence it requires a bit of practice Oh My God!!! What an experience!!!! It was amazing to hold the SA globe and walk along with the teams To be at a touching distance with these great players on this ground and to be a part of this ceremony is a phenomenal experience I have no words to express my feelings right now Most memorable moment indeed…. I still can’t believe I actually got this opportunity and I was there at the ground with them Anyway, I have to carry on my duties and so, I’ll see you all later It is break time for us. We are watching the game from the stands now We are at a vantage position – just below the pavilion The Australian players are sitting just a few meters away in front of us So that brings us to the end of my Cricketeer experience It was a fabulous, fantastic experience I had been a cricketeer for Champions trophy tournament too But this was a different experience, with world’s best teams competing with each other The enthusiasm of World Cup tournament was entirely different I had volunteered for two cricket matches and at a fan zone I love this game so much that I even watch a match played by ten year olds at the park or gully Whether it is tennis ball cricket, if I have the time, I watch the game – no matter who plays So, when the World Cup of the game happens so near us, how could I pass the opportunity to be a part of it I got a chance to see and be a part of this lovely game – how it is organised and all I could also see in person all the big names in the world of cricket – the who’s who of the game – thanks to my volunteering I got an opportunity to click pictures with them, talk to them Aside from that, the opportunity to get closer to the game and to understand the organisation of the tournament is immeasurable It was an opportunity to help people – so many people came from various parts of the world We could help and guide them. That satisfaction is priceless The greatest experience is to get closer to the game – a game that one loves dearly I hope that you all enjoyed watching this episode of Wanderscapes I am signing out from Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester Please like, Share and subscribe Wanderscapes’ videos Until we meet next time… Bye….