The captain’s log with Derbyshire’s Billy Godleman


Derbyshire batsman Billy Godleman is the latest county skipper to discuss lockdown life with the PA news agency.

Here the opener talks improvised weightlifting, Toy Story and missing the game he loves.

How are you coping with the lack of cricket?

Billy Godleman at the crease for Derbyshire.
Billy Godleman at the crease for Derbyshire (Mike Egerton/PA)

“The last time I went this long without picking up a bat was the end of the 2013-14 season when I thought my career might be at an end. Back then I wanted and needed time away, physically and mentally. It’s different now, I love opening the batting and I’m really missing going out there. But it’s a terrible situation and I’m thankful that myself and my immediate family are safe.”

What are the best and worst parts of life in lockdown?

Warwickshire v Derbyshire – Royal London One Day Cup – Edgbaston
Godleman is missing the action but making the most of quality time with his family (PA)

“The best part is having some quality time with my wife and my four-year-old boy. It’s been a real eye-opener for me to realise that maybe you’re not as present as you think you are when the season is under way. The worst part is just not being able to play the game, to get out there batting. I miss it.”

What are your most creative home workouts?

“At the moment it’s weighted press-ups with my son on my back! He’s the one to say ‘it’s time to do exercises now Daddy!’ but it does take the odd bark from me to encourage him to stay still. I should be able to progress to his mum soon – she’s as light as a feather!”

Are you able to work on any cricket skills at the moment?

“Nothing official apart from a little knock-up with the boy, but I am a big watcher of cricket. I take in as much as I can and about once a week I’ll chat with a couple of the lads about stuff one of us has seen from watching games last season.”

What are you missing most about the county circuit?

Derbyshire Media Day
Godleman enjoys sharing a table with Matt Critchley (PA)

“It’s mostly the craic with the lads in the changing room. The banter and the different characters and conversations that come up on the road. For me it’s Matt Critchley and Harvey Hossein and the meal we have one night during every away trip.”

How do you think things will be different when cricket returns?

“From the people I’ve spoken to, whether they’ve played 15 years or 15 months, everyone is absolutely desperate to be playing. I think the appreciation of what we do for a living has been reinforced.”

Do you have a message for the fans?

“My message would be to make sure you keep yourself and your immediate family as safe and healthy as you can. It’s common sense but at the moment if you’re not out there on the front line or behind the scenes helping then it’s the best we can do.”

What new entertainment have you discovered in lockdown?

Toy Story has been on hard rotation in the Godleman house.
Toy Story has been on hard rotation in the Godleman house (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“Anyone with young children would understand this, but I’ve had Toy Story 1-4 on loop. I’ve also had a chance to watch The Test and seeing how Australia go about their business is insightful and entertaining. I love my music so I’ve read Eric Clapton’s book and been getting heavily back into Bob Dylan.”

What have the club been doing to help the community?

“We have a ‘make the call’ initiative to check in with our members and see how they’re doing. We are a community club with a very intimate relationship with the fans and it’s been nice to have some cricketing exchanges with them, you realise how much you can take that stuff for granted.”