Former professional cricketer chooses new career in medicine

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Vishal Tripathi has swapped whites for scrubs after giving up life as a professional cricketer for medicine.

Now a junior doctor at the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton-on-Tees, the 33-year-old from Sunderland has a lifelong love of the sport.

He signed his first professional contract with Lancashire aged just 20 before eventually moving onto a full time deal with Northamptonshire.

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But when his contract wasn’t renewed, he took it upon himself to come up with an alternative plan: “The main idea was to get back into the game but it just wasn’t meant to be,” he said.

Inspired by his grandfather who was a doctor and one of his friends who had enrolled in medical school, he found an interest in medicine and started doing some voluntary work as a care assistant to gain experience.

He eventually found his first paid role in the NHS as a support worker and began his university applications to study medicine, part funded by the Professional Cricketers’ Association – a union which supports cricket players throughout their career.

“There’s more satisfaction in saving someone than there is in scoring a 100 or winning a game,” he said.

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“You might not have 20,000 people watching you here but you are part of a team – you’re a cog in the work of the NHS that’s helping to keep the country afloat.

Vishal is ready for workVishal is ready for work
Vishal is ready for work
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“Cricket is a short career but medicine is here until I die now.”

He believes his former career prepared him for his new career: “There’s just something about sportspeople that translates well into medicine. We have real foundation blocks to make great doctors,” he said.

“You have to be dedicated to the game. You’re constantly training really hard, you have to be a great team worker and have leadership skills as well, but for me the main thing is coping with setbacks.

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“Those skills are worth their weight in gold and are very easily transferable to a career in medicine and healthcare – we know how to get the job done, we go through the tough times but we realise it’s all worth it.”

Vishal still has a passion for cricket and has just signed with Whitburn Cricket Club.

As a foundation year one doctor, he is still thinking about where his future in medicine may lie. Currently gaining experience in trauma and orthopaedics, he is considering a future in sports injuries or cardiology.

Vishal’s transformation is a main feature in the Professional Cricket Association’s (PCA) Futures Week, which aims to shine a light on personal development and career transitions in cricketers, and he recently took part in a video interview with the PCA to tell his story to other professional cricketers.

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Ian Thomas, PCA director of member services, said: “Vishal has shown exemplary determination, skill and resilience throughout his journey from professional cricket and into medicine.

“The NHS is a wonderful service that is so important to everybody so we take great pride that one of our members has opted to pursue a career within the organisation.

“Vishal should be incredibly proud of this achievements to date and we hope that many more current and former professional cricketers will learn from his experiences and consider medicine as a second career.”

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