Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Azad builds experience with PCA partner

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Hassan Azad benefits from PCA’s partnership with Lodders Solicitors.

Leicestershire batter Hassan Azad is taking advantage of the PCA’s commercial programme by gaining valuable experience with partners, Lodders Solicitors LLP.

The 27-year-old is spending seven weeks working with the law firm during his flexible winter training to develop a potential avenue for his second career post-cricket and says he is “privileged for the opportunity” to work with the award-winning company.

In August, the PCA announced Lodders Solicitors had extended its partnership to become an Executive Partner, and that they would support the Association’s work with current and former professional cricketers to include work experience opportunities.

Lodders’ commitment to supporting the PCA in developing cricketers off the field also sees them being the headline sponsor of the Futures Awards. The initiative highlights the work of PCA members who have proactively taken steps for their personal development with presentations for the awards taking place at Lodders’ office in Cheltenham on Tuesday 7 December.

As part of this growing partnership, Azad is now completing a work placement with Lodders alongside his pre-season training programme. The objective is to bring more “security” to his future.

Azad began his work experience in November and has been among the first beneficiaries of the partnership with the opening batter explaining how grateful he is for the opportunity.

“The overriding message is that I am so grateful to be here, everyone has been so friendly and given me the support I have needed. I am not taking it for granted and I will help the best I can while I am here,” said Azad.

Azad is benefitting from gaining valuable industry experience within different areas of the business and he described what his experience has been like so far.

“I have moved around the different departments, so I spent the first week with the operations team. I did finance, compliance, IT and front of house. It was quick but I got a taste of what goes on in each of these departments.

“My second week I spent with private clients, shadowing the partners in their meetings and going over legal documents for trusts and wills.

“I have really enjoyed going into client meetings. It has been interesting to see how the solicitors interact with them, and how they solve the issues the clients bring to them, there is so much problem solving involved as they try to find solutions for them.”

This is not the first time the batter has shown commitment to his personal development, impressively already holding an integrated Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering with First Class honours from Loughborough University. In December 2020, he also completed an intense six-day placement at the DG Khan Cement Plant in Hub, Pakistan. Azad spoke to the PCA about why he believes it is vitally important for members to think about their futures.

“Knowing what comes after I finish playing, allows me to be in the moment and enjoy it without having to worry about what happens if I do not get another contract.”

HASSAN AZAD

“Being secure about my future is only going to help my present. Knowing what comes after I finish playing, allows me to be in the moment and enjoy it without having to worry about what happens if I do not get another contract. If I know what direction I want to go, then I am happy.”

Azad told the Association there are many transferable skills between professional cricket and law. However, he also explained that working in a law firm requires some very specific skills.

“Obviously you need expert legal knowledge but from a cricketer’s perspective, we are used to high-pressure situations. We are used to working hard. We are used to presenting ourselves well through our interaction with fans and the media.”

Azad also praised the PCA for everything they do for members to help their personal development, explaining the challenges in obtaining placements with reputable firms.

“It is not lost on me how difficult it would be to get work experience of this quality without the PCA. This is the sort of thing people spend ages researching, networking and applying for.

“It is nothing short of a privilege to be able to access this through the PCA and get this opportunity.”

Find out more about the PCA Futures Awards which form part of the Association’s wider Personal Development and Welfare Programme (PDWP).

Lodders Solicitors is an award-winning law firm with offices in Stratford upon Avon, Cheltenham, Birmingham and Henley in Arden. Visit the company’s website to find out more.

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