Can You Start Playing Cricket At 16 Years Old?

Lots of people begin to get properly invested in cricket in their teenage years, so it’s only natural that they begin to wonder whether it is the sort of sport they can take part in and what sort of level of the game they could potentially reach. This was definitely the case for me! I only really got properly interested in the game when I was 12 years old, and it took me another year to commit to playing!

But what if you (or your child) take a few more years than I did to develop that love of the sport? Let’s say that they only really get interested once they reach the age of 16. Will this stop them from having a successful cricket career? How good could they really be? What sorts of teams will there be for them to play in, and how do you get involved with those teams? I’ll be answering all of those questions and more in this post – so if you feel like that’ll be helpful to you – stick around! First though, let’s tackle the most fundamental question…

Can you start playing cricket at 16 years old?

Yes, it’s perfectly reasonable to start playing cricket when you’re 16. At this age you’re still eligible to play junior cricket, so if your local club has an under-17 team then you could represent them! You could also play for an ‘open age’ cricket team, which allows adults of all ages to compete against each other.

Some cricket clubs will even have junior cricket teams that have different ability categories. These are excellent for 16 year olds that are looking for an introduction to the sport but don’t want to enter into high level competition straight away! For example, if you know of a cricket club that has an under-17’s A team and an under-17’s B team, the best choice for a new cricketer would be to have a stint with the B team and see how they perform.

If you’ve never played cricket before and you’re 16 years old, then it’s worth bearing in mind that you will probably have to put a lot of hard work in on the practice field in order to catch up with your teammates who may have been playing cricket for several years. The good news is, at 16 years of age it’s easy to make improvements, and there is a large chance you’ll have a bit more free time available to devote to cricket practice. If you commit to practicing a few times a week, whether that is with a club or at home, you should see you your skills improve rapidly. The more practice time you put in, the better prepared you will be to play in actual cricket matches!

I’d also recommend practicing with your friends as much as possible if they’re interested in cricket too! Before I began playing cricket for my local club, I got loads of practice batting and bowling in my back yard against my friends. This type of practice in a very relaxed environment ended up being very valuable to me, as it allowed me to develop a functional bowling action and a style of batting that worked for me before I ever attended an official cricket practice session. This really helped to build some confidence that I could take into the nets with my new club.

If you want to work on your game and practice in the right way before you join a cricket team, then I have loads of posts here on Cricketers Hub which will help you do exactly that. If you want to learn how to practice your batting at home, click here to read an in-depth post that I’ve put together covering that. I also wrote a similar post that will help fast bowlers to practice their technique and skills at home, and you can read that by clicking here!

What Equipment Does A 16 Year Old Cricketer Need?

One of the most vital (and exciting) parts of beginning a cricket career is purchasing the equipment that you’ll need to participate in the sport. However, newcomers can often be confused with regards to which bits of cricket kit they actually need! So, in this section I’ll be aiming to clear up a bit of that confusion!

A 16 year old that wants to play junior cricket for a club where proper cricket balls are being used will definitely need the following bits of equipment:

  • A decent quality cricket bat – You’ll need to make sure that you buy the correct size bat. I’ve written a guide on how to choose one that you can read by clicking here.
  • A helmet – this protects the head and the face from getting hit by the ball. If you want to make sure you buy the correct size of helmet, read my guide on that by clicking here.
A proper batting helmet is an essential bit of kit for players of all ages
  • A pair of batting pads – These protect your lower legs and knees from the impact of the ball
  • A pair of batting gloves – These are essential to protect your fingers, which are a vulnerable area when batting. If you’re interested, I reviewed 5 of my favourites pairs in one of my other posts linked here
  • A pair of cricket shoes – All cricketers need to have good grip whilst they’re on the field. A proper pair of cricket shoes are pretty essential for this
  • Appropriate clothing – Usually this will be a white shirt and white trousers, however some teams may have specific uniforms. Speak to the coaches of the team in order to find out what sort of clothing is required
  • A cricket bag to keep your stuff inside! – If you’re interested, I reviewed 8 of the most popular cricket bags in one of my other posts that you can read by clicking here
  • An abdomen guard – These are also known as a box or a cup, and they protect the groin area from the impact of the ball

In addition to the bits of equipment they’ll definitely need, there are other items that a 16 year old may require in order to play at a higher level. These items aren’t necessarily essential, but a lot of players still like to use them. They are as follows:

  • Arm guard – These are used to protect the forearm, which is an area that a lot of batsmen get hit when facing fast bowling
  • Thigh guard (inner and outer) – Again, when playing fast bowling a batsman can take a lot of hits on both legs. Inner and outer thigh guards can protect against this
  • Chest guard – As you can probably guess, a chest guard protects the batter’s chest and can save them from bruising and nasty rib injuries etc
  • Sun cream – This is often overlooked but when playing cricket in sunny conditions, wearing sun cream is often a great thing to have in your kit bag. You can read a bit more about that and why it’s so important by clicking here.
  • Sun glasses – No cricketer wants to be trying to take a catch whilst staring directly into the sun. Having a pair of sun glasses helps enormously with this.
  • A hat – These can keep the sun out of your eyes too!
  • Wicket keeping gloves & pads – If you fancy yourself as a wicket keeper, you’ll definitely need to buy a pair of keeping gloves and pads.
If you want to be a wicket keeper, you’ll need a pair of keeping gloves like these
  • A couple of cricket balls – In my cricket career I’ve found that it’s always handy to have a couple of extra balls in my kit bag in case I want to get a bit of practice on the outfield or something similar

In some cases, it may also be possible for a young player to borrow pieces of equipment from their club. A couple of clubs that I played for had a few sets of pads, bats and gloves that were spare, just in case anyone couldn’t afford a certain item of kit or forgot theirs on a certain week. So, if you feel like you or your child may be missing certain items, have a word with one of the club coaches and see if there’s anything they could potentially help you out with.

If you want a full break down of all the different types of cricket gear, including where you can buy them and the sorts of prices of each of them, then click here to read one of my in depth cricket equipment posts!

How To Find A Cricket Club To Join

Families that aren’t involved in cricket and have no background in the sport will often wonder how exactly they can get their child involved. Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to scout around and find the right cricket club for you. Here are a few of my thoughts on what you should do and what sort of club you should be looking for if you’re a 16 year old looking to get involved in cricket for the first time:

  1. Search your local area – I think it’s very important to join a club that is as local to you as possible. If you have to travel too far to play for your club or to practice, then this will make you more likely to skip games or practice sessions. So, have a search on the internet first and type something like ‘cricket clubs near me’ into google. This will hopefully throw up a few possibilities along with their contact numbers!
  2. Use your friends or other people you know – If you have friends or other family members that are already involved with a cricket club, then this is a great way for you to potentially get involved. Ask them if they have the contact details for anyone at the club that you should get in touch with, or just simply ask them if you can go along to a practice session with them. This is often a great way to get involved because it is great to already know someone who plays for a club. This way, you won’t be so intimidated about walking into a new social setting and have someone you can talk to right away.
  3. Make sure your club offers practice sessions – Ideally you want to join a club that offers at least one practice session per week during the cricket season, and one that also runs winter practice sessions. If they offer more practice sessions than this, then great! That will help you get up to speed a lot quicker. You should also be on the lookout for clubs that have indoor net facilities and outdoor batting cages so that you can practice in all conditions.
  4. Think about ability groups – As I explained earlier, some cricket clubs may have multiple different teams in each junior age group, ranked in terms of ability. If you’re someone who is new to cricket, starting off in one of the lower ability groups is often a great way to build some confidence and get into the sport. Your coaches will probably end up having the final say on which ability group you will be placed in.

Can You Become Professional If You Start Playing Cricket At 16?

Yes, you definitely still have a shot of making it as a professional cricketer if you start playing at 16 years old. At this age a lot of cricketers are still maturing and getting faster and stronger, so this offers you a good opportunity to catch up with your teammates and increase your skills. As I’ve already mentioned in this post, if you’re seriously thinking about becoming a professional cricketer and you haven’t played at all before the age of 16, you’re going to have to put some serious work in on the practice field. At this age, many of the elite players in your age group will have been playing for over 5 years, so they have a lot of experience in the sport that they can call upon. For you to reach that same level, you will likely have to outwork them and practice much harder than them.

Of course, this isn’t the case for everyone. Some cricketers come to the game for the first time with a remarkable amount of natural talent. Maybe you find out very quickly that you have a talent for bowling fast, or you may be really tall and able to extract a lot of bounce from a cricket pitch. Maybe you have an ability to strike a ball a great distance, or the ability to spin the ball miles. If you fall into a category like this, then it will be easier for you to become professional if you start your career at 16. However, that being said, having natural talent isn’t an automatic ticket to the professional game. Talented players still need to hone their game through practice in order to reach those elite levels!

If you’re just starting to play cricket at 16, I wouldn’t worry too much about your chances of becoming a pro right away. This is a huge goal, and it’s one that will probably take quite a while to achieve. Instead, you should set yourself smaller, more measurable goals that will set you on the path to becoming professional. For example, if you set yourself the goal of being the highest run scorer on your team, or in your league, this is an immediate goal that you can use to motivate you during the current season. If you manage to achieve this, you’ll know you are one of the best batters in your league and are potentially capable of moving to the next skill level. Similarly, if you can become one of the highest wicket takers on your team or in your league, you will know that you are becoming an effective bowler that might need to challenge themselves more by moving up a level.

To summarise this section, it’s definitely possible to become a professional cricketer if you start playing at the age of 16, and there are plenty of current professionals that have done it. However, it should be noted that most professionals start playing a lot earlier. Don’t let that put you off though! If you have a decent bit of natural talent combined with a passion for the sport, and a desire to out-practice your competition, you can definitely make it.


I hope that this post has given you a bit of clarity on what exactly is possible for a 16 year old that is just starting out on their cricket journey. If you’re going to start playing soon, I’d recommend having a good browse on my batting and bowling tips pages to see if there are any skills in particular that you’d like to work on. There should be some things on there that interest you!

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