Tom Liddiard is currently the National Cricket Player of France and has also represented France at U17 & U19 Cricket Levels. He plays for Paris Université Club (PUC) and also for Rhône Cricket Club based in Lyon. In the Interview with Vishal Yadav, Tom speaks about their short and long term goals and the importance of getting back to ICC Europe Division 1 next year. Although Cricket is not much popular sport in France, it becomes difficult in getting promotion and attracting audiences. Thanks to USEP programme that was initiated to encourage Cricket at School grass-root level. The initiative is working wonders and aims to see more and more local players playing the game.
1. Tell us about you?
Full Name: Tom Liddiard
Date of Birth: 17/10/1992
Playing Role: Bowler
Batting Style: RHB
Bowling Style: RMF
2. At Present: Are you a Coach? A cricket player? A cricket related business? A club Owner? A cricket Fan? Mention your work profile (if anything else).
Member of France national squad
3. Are you playing cricket currently? If Yes - Since how long are you playing cricket? What level of cricket have you played so far in your country?
I have represented France at U17, U19 and senior international level since 2008.
4. Do you play for any club or a team? Mention their names? When was it founded? Where are you working currently?
I currently play for Paris Université Club (PUC) and also for Rhône Cricket Club (founded 2006), based in Lyon.
5. Where do you and your team see yourself in coming 5 years? Where do you want to focus in order to improve your cricket?
France has taken major steps forward in the last few years, and if we can continue improving at this pace, there should be no limit as to what we can achieve. I suppose short term objectives would be to get promoted back into ICC European Div 1 and to qualify for World Cricket League Division 6 when the opportunity next arises. I believe the key to achieving these goals lies in nurturing the considerable talent we have at junior level, and giving these players the opportunities to train and develop themselves to fulfill their potential as cricketers.
7. Any recent achievements/activities that you had. (It could be organizing a small camp, or just playing a match or organizing a cricket camp or playing a tournament series) Do mention the date.
The national side just returned from ICC Europe Divison 1 in Jersey, 8-15 May 2015. Unfortunately, we got relegated from the Division, after not managing to win a match during the tournament. As a consequence, we will be competing in the Divison 2 tournament next summer, to fight for a chance for promotion.
8. Would you like to come to India for a tournament or a coaching camp? Or do you want to travel any other country (if Yes, please mention the name)?
9. What are the challenges you are facing in your country's cricket? If any, how do you feel to overcome those challenges?
Cricket is a largely unknown sport in France, so this obviously presents a challenge when it comes to developing the sport, since the player base simply does not exist. France Cricket have made some important steps in promoting cricket over the last few years, not the least is managing to get cricket into schools through the USEP programme, a primary school grassroots initiative. Hopefully over the next generation we will see more and more players who have come through this system integrate into club and national setups, as this is, in my mind, the key to long term success at an international level.
10. One thing that you instantly need that would boost the involvement of people in your country's cricket?
More public exposure of the sport - either through media or its inclusion in school sports curricula.
11. Name any 3 active Cricket Clubs from your locality, Country.
A comprehensive list of all clubs in France, along with contact details can be found on www.francecricket.com