Balancing Lives

As usual, there's been some great stuff in the cricket pages of The Guardian over the past few days. I particularly enjoyed Donald McRae's interview with Claire Taylor, especially her reflections on the trials and tribulations of balancing her career as a cricketer with a life that has inevitably been more complex, crowded and compromised than that of most male sportsmen of similar stature.

It leaves you wondering how the average male cricketer of even county standard, let alone Taylor's world-class, would be able to cope with an income so tiny that it meant that he had to live with his parents in his late twenties. Not well, I suspect.

With all this said, the almost touching modesty, magnanimity and balance of Taylor's closing words give a further clue as to the reasons why she's been so successful:

"If you look at the men, you have to acknowledge that they have come through as the best of 400 professional cricketers in this country. Their evolution into Test players is so different from ours. In the women's game if you're a good 17-year-old you can be picked for England. So you don't go through the same process as the men and perhaps there is a correlation between that and what they earn.

"But I don't play cricket for money. I play to be the best I can be and because it's a brilliant game. It's a game for everyone."

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