Ep. 50 - Nick Ferraby, International T20 Cricketer turned pastor
Ep. 50 - Nick Ferraby, International T20 Cricketer turned pastor

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In this episode of the podcast, Danno interviews Nick Ferraby, a former professional and international cricketer who represented Jersey in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifiers in 2018.

Nick started university life at Loughborough playing both hockey and cricket at a high level, he then went on to pursue a career as a professional cricketer, playing Minor Counties for Cambridgeshire before making his list A debut for Leicestershire in 2007. Nick is now an assistant pastor at Jersey Baptist Church.

Join Danno as he chats to Nick about his cricketing career, including 18 international matches, his wrestle with faith at university, and how he went on to connect sport and faith in his life as both an international cricketer and a pastor.

In this episode we cover:

0:00 How do your sport and faith connect?
3:06 University sport and journey to faith in Christ.
9:44 Faith bringing fulfilment not found in sport.
12:53 Security in Christ transforming sport
17:35 The challenge of living as a Christian in elite sport
23:19 Moving to Jersey and the T20 World Cup
26:59 The identity battle and disappointment in top-level sport
30:40 Sport and the school of discipleship
33:16 Authenticity and witness in elite sport


Hi there. Great to have you with us. My name is Jonny Reid and you're listening to the Christians in Sport Podcast. This podcast speaks to sports. If you follow Jesus and asked them how they play connected, how they've connected their sport and faith together, and what difference their faith and makes to their sport. Today we're speaking to Nick Ferriby, just as the men's T20 World Cup is about to kick off in Australia.

Nick's a former professional and international cricket player who's now the assistant pastor at Jersey Baptist Church. He played minor counties cricket for Cambridgeshire before making his list debut for Leicestershire in 2017. He moved to jazz in 2018 and soon after qualified to play internationally for him. He's played 18 T20 internationals, including an ICC men's T20 World Cup qualifier in the UAE.

So let's join Danno now as he speaks with Nick Ferraby about his sport and his faith. Enjoy.

Danno: Well, Ferrers. Welcome to the Christian Sport podcast. Obviously, I should say Nick Ferraby because that's your proper, proper name, but you're Ferrers to everyone and you. So welcome. I'm going to kick you off for the first question that we ask all our guests and which I should tell you, we have warned him that it’s coming his way. Yes. The first question, though, always, what does it mean for you to have your sport and faith connected to play connected?

Nick: Yeah. It's been a journey of seeing my sport and my faith come together over the years. And it's been one that's not always smooth. You know, just thinking over the years of journeying with those two things together. But I think, you know, some of the the key things that I've tried to kind of bring together and is a firstly kind of worship really understanding how my sport can be worship.

And part of my relationship with God growing up until the age of 20, it wasn't really those two weren't to get the kind of what I thought was faith and Christianity was very much seperate on a Sunday to what I was doing on a Sunday on a midweek. And so kind of understand that actually sport in itself can be a great way to to worship God and to to play for his glory instead of my own.

And I guess, you know, if God is creator, which I came to understand as a Christian in my early twenties, he's he's given us sport as a great kind of way in which we can express that creative image that he's given us that says, you know, Genesis one, that we're made in God's image. And in other words, we're kind of made in his likeness to to resemble that creativeness in the way we play our sport.

So, you know, just in simple terms, you know, every time we we work on a new cricket shot, for example, in the in training, the buzz from then playing that in a game and nailing it and getting a boundary is, I think, a God given joy that he gives us. So I think just in simple terms, learning that and kind of in terms of the game, just the way the game has creatively moved on and developed, you see the purest parts of God's creation coming out in cricket and the way it's developed and evolved and new shots being played.

Kevin Pietersen brought new shots into the game, didn't he, when he started switch hitting seam bowlers and then just formats have changed. Kerry Packer bought in the ODI series one day former and then T20 is kind of come out in the in the 2000s and then you've got tactics have evolved you know I think is amazing thing when you see tactics have changed over the years you see Morgan and Morgan's numbers being put up in the in the dressing room.

Now they're all God given. Creative things are part of sport. So I think just seeing that and actually recognizing that actually as a God given thing has helped me in my sport.

Danno: How did that breakthrough happen? So I'm assuming you had a faith then as a youngster and that you had to work out what it looked like to have a faith in God through Christ. And as you've just described, the creativity, the fact that you were made by God, that it was very much a part of being a Christian.

Take me back a little bit. Both to your own faith and how you got to that tipping point that you've just described to us.

Nick: Well, yeah, growing up, really, sport was everything for me. I arrived at university, Loughborough university as a very fresh, kind of fresher, straight out of school and sport had been everything for me, kind of through my my schooling time. And I arrived really hockey and cricket as my kind of two main sports. I've done some England Juniors for hockey and some Liecestershire second team stuff for cricket, so I wanted to get stuck into both those sports at university and actually I loved it.

First time I was at university, totally kind of away from home, and it was probably 90% sport and training and being with team mates and 10% studies. That was the way kind of university rolled out in my first year and I loved it. But I think, you know, at the same time my faith was something I had in my life, a very small part.

I thought I was a Christian. I would have called myself a Christian, but it was very much a small part of my life. I didn't really know what Jesus has done for me on the cross and the implications for that in my life at that stage in my first year. And so as a consequence, I was living very much kind of in two worlds, one foot in the church, one foot in the world.

I used to go sporadically to church kind of through my first year at university, but a lot of the Loughborough Hockey Games, National Prem Games were on Sundays and so would even be away for the whole day traveling across the country, or if we were at home, we'd be playing in the afternoon and then straight down to the pub afterwards.

And if you're a fresher, you've got no option. You can't tell your teammates you're going to church. And I certainly wasn't in that place. So so my first year was very much kind of living a life that wasn't a Christian life really or one that honoured God. But actually then things changed in my second year, and that was one moment at the end of my summer holidays between my first and second year, when I'd been at home for the summer, living at home, playing cricket over the summer.

And my brother, who was a Christian, recognized that my life wasn't quite right and it was sliding away from what he knew we'd grown up with as a family, and he would drop me off at a team mates house, cricket teammates house at the end of that summer. For me to start off back at uni and for him to go off to to his job and work and he broke down in tears and this that obviously brother this never happens.

He broke down in tears, at which point I didn't start breaking down in tears. And he says to me, Look, Nick, I can see. And this actually is in front of my teammates or teammates at the door waiting for me to arrive into the house. And we're just getting my stuff out the back of the car and remember the picture now.

And my brother says, Look, Nick, I don't care what is happening in your life. I just want you to start reading your Bible again. And even now, like the kind of lump in my throat comes back because that was a massive wake up call and it stirred me just his heart and emotion. And yeah, so throughout that second year I then kind of wanted to grapple with this or I did start grappling with it.

I tried to read my Bible. I got far as kind of Exodus. I think I wasn't much of a reader, and so I kind of crashed and burned then, but I just my lifestyle was grappling for my second year. No one other than my brother kind of challenged me on this, and so it was very much inner conviction.

I think I can see God kind of would work in my life to just show me the sinfulness in my life, that my life wasn't right with him. My relationship with a girlfriend wasn't right. Drinking the folksiness of the relationship I had with drunken nights where I'd be full of life. And then the next morning I'd see the same person and not chat to them because I was a different person.

So I started to kind of see through all this and started then to go back to church a bit more. And I was a classic kind of fringe church member throughout my second year. I used to go 5 minutes late and leave 5 minutes early so that I never had to speak to anyone. But on one occasion, towards the end of the summer, in that second year, someone, a lady at the church got a hold of me and and she pulled me to one side and she said, Look, I see you come to church, you know, a bit more regularly recently.

Why is it you always wear a shirt and tie? And I had to explain. She thought I was just a very formal. Christian It was actually just because our uniform for our hockey team was shirt and tie. And so I'd go from a hockey game and then go to the church. But that was a turning point in that conversation.

And she said, Look, why don't you join a university Bible study group at our church? And from there all changed. I was open. I knew I needed God. I knew I needed to find out more. I wanted to read the Bible. I wanted to kind of find true life because although sport was going well, it really wasn't fulfilling me in the way that I thought it might, even if it was going successfully.

Yeah, it wasn't fulfilling and I could see the kind of falseness in my life, so to speak. So that was the journey through to my second and third year and over that summer, my heart and life just changed really. My perspective on things God changed, my heart to want to desire his things. And I came back September 3rd year joined a Christian support group at the university, and that was where my journey as kind of sport and faith came together, and that just made a massive difference.

Understanding and meeting other sports people who had a genuine faith but also were serious about their sport. Amazingly, in my first two years and even at school, I never met one Christian in my teams and at university. And so this was a revelation for me to kind of join this Christian in Sport group. And it's why I'm passionate now about being trying to be a Christian to any team mate, any official now who might be thinking about faith.

So yeah, that's a kind of overview of kind of faith journey. Really.

Danno: Yeah, very helpful. Well, the very reason we make this podcast is that many of our listeners will have a Christian faith, and there would be a good number of people who are listening in on people, Ferrers like you, you know, they get the sport, they know it inside out. They know the pressures of elite competitive sport. And they may have some curiosity about where God fits into all this.

You said something a lot of interesting things that one of the things caught my attention was that in this process as an undergraduate at this point, right, you're playing for Leicestershire in the second team regularly, so you're playing at a very good level, paying high level hockey. On many levels. You should be really fulfilled because you're an extremely high achiever at one of the best sports universities in Europe. But you said that your faith brought a fulfillment. I think you said that a fulfillment that you hadn't experienced in your sport and in your social life that that came from that do you want to unpack this fulfillment aspect.

Nick: Yeah, I guess it's, I think the, the experiences in that second year were there were a few occasions when I was kind of the realities of high level sport hit the rubber hit the road. So midway through that second year, I got dropped from the first team, hockey team and I would say looking back at the time, it was because of my lifestyle I was drinking too much and my diet wasn't good enough.

I wasn't going to fitness I should have been doing. So I got dropped for a month or so. So that was an eye opener. But also my cricket was kind of coming to a point where it was rubber hit the road as well. So I was 19, 20. I had to make decisions between hockey and cricket and I need to work out where I was going and my cricket was kind of going okay.

But there were, you know, at Loughborough University, I think in the university first team, I think all but two of us were already professionally contracted and we had we had Monty Panesar, who was an England prospect at that point playing with us, who had been with the England Lions squad at the time. So serious kind of cricket outfit.

And so, you know, it was sobering, you know, I wasn't what I thought I could be and I wasn't on top of the world at times. And that made me realize, actually, my my security and self-worth and value was very much undermined. And that's why I think, you know, when we talk about identity, I break it down to kind of worth and value.

What do we look to to bring us worth and value? And my sport wasn't delivering that. My relationship with my girlfriend wasn't delivering that, my lifestyle wasn't delivering that. And that's the hole that I was desperately trying to fill. And that's what made me come back to to the to the Bible, really, and come back to church. I would say.

Danno: And at that point, Nick, I think every single athlete or ex athlete listening to us now would completely get that. When you come to the point in your career where you've climbed and climbed, you're getting above everybody else, you're up and up the ladder. Then you're with the level that actually stretches you all the way. And actually, you may not you may not keep up with it.

And there's a version of that for all top young athletes. However high you go, and your were very high up the ladder, but you get to you will get to there. Sometimes people will say, all right, that's fine. You found a degree of fulfilment and security. You found an equilibrium in your identity through Christian faith, through a relationship with God, through Christ.

Sometimes coaches, of course, who aren't Christians particularly worry that that will take the edge away. The mojo. No, you started off with my first question about connecting sport and faith. Return to that for us. Then how? How did this knit together? Now then security and fulfillment in Christ and yet the energy to play, desire to play. How how did that start to fit to this point again.

Nick: Yeah, I think that's a great point. I think it's a really good point and it looked different in both sports hockey and cricket, but I'd say I'd probably focus on cricket at this stage because cricket was the main sport by my third year and I think cricket was the one that was impacted mostly by my my faith and my new relationship with God.

I think, you know, as a batsman, as a batsman primarily, I bought a little bit, but my batting was the one that kind of progressed more. I would say the anxiety and the pressure around trying to perform and score runs was one that was was quite crippling at times. And I think what really made a difference was now as a Christian, I could trust that God, God was in charge of my life.

He was the number one in my life. I had been living life as if I was number one. And that's what I want is going to be the best for me. But actually, when I when I recognized that God, the Lord Jesus is now number one in my life, He knows what's best for my life. He's created me.

He's given me the gifts and talents I can now leave my cricket and whatever performance is come in his hands and know that whatever comes will be the best for me. If I'm following him and wanting his, his, his best and his glory, then the best will come for me. Whether that is to continue playing professional cricket or not, whether it's something else.

And, and I remember that summer between my second and third year, that overwhelming peace just carried it onto the pitch with me. And I was just able to go out just with a real free spirit and play in a way that I hadn't before, kind of liberated from the burden of thinking the whole world was on me to now thinking, actually, well, it's not a me that I can enjoy the gift God was giving me on doing the hard yards and training.

I can trust that as well in a very real sense and know that actually. Yeah, it's all in God's hands and that just enabled me to to play the way I did. And I scored more runs than I'd ever scored. And that eventually got me. I think I averaged coming near the top in the team, the second team at that in that summer and got me a contract for the following year.

So I’d say that was the biggest impact. And actually my my coaches took out the coaches and they're what they see. They clocked this, they clocked this. And I was also through the Christian in Sport Group at University. They were very strong to to make sure that I was, you know, to encourage me to share my faith with my teammates, which is first was a real battle and transition.

But I started to do that and so my coaches cottoned on to the fact that I'd become a Christian and asked me about that. So, you know, I just remember one conversation with Phil Whitticase who was the second team coach at the time. I was on the boundary fielding and he was walking round. He said, Ferrers what's this?

I hear you found God. And there it was. It's just an opportunity, just to say, actually, yeh as it was, I didn't score any runs in that game. So it wasn't a great testament to what I'm saying here. But the overall picture was there.

Jonny Reid: I hope you're enjoying our chat with Nick Ferraby We'll get back to it in just a minute. But before then, I wanted to tell you about GameDay. GameDay is our new weekly devotion for sports people. You can choose which day of the week to get it, and have a short devotion sent straight to your inbox, or you can listen to it on your phone. It's designed to help sports people prepare to compete, helping them fix their eyes on Jesus before their game day. It takes less than 10 seconds to sign up, I promise you. Just head to Christiansinsport.org.uk/gameday. That's christiansinsport.org.uk/gameday. Great enjoy the second half of our interview with Nick Ferraby

Danno: You've made your first team debut for Leicestershire actually around 2’07, 2007 I think. So we're in that period now, aren't we, broadly speaking, yeah. When we come to this point of conversation, again, for people who are competitive and elite athletes who share your faith, there are interesting questions on this and they're often interesting to somebody who's not sure they are a Christian at this point.

Okay. So you you say you you take your private life into the dressing room. I think that's what we're saying here, because professional sport so often compete on competitive and professional sports, so often encourage you to present yourself differently in the changing room than you do at home. Keep yourself, keep home, home when you're when you're at the club.

This is how it works at the club. Just be one of the club. One for the boys. One of the girls. Yeah. Or. All right, so you don't hide, you're out that you have a Christian faith. This is news to people around you. Most people would say, good. Thanks for telling us. Show us. What were the challenges you face now, the joys on the challenges that you faced when people knew that you had Christian faith, but it inevitably brought you into some kind of counter-cultural attitudes or behaviour.

Did that happen to you?

Nick: Absolutely. Absolutely. I'd say, you know, cricket is a unique sport. I mean, every sport is different in terms of the what it looks like and how much you spend time wise with your teammates, mates. Cricket is one of those sports where for four days of a cricket match, you're in the dressing room or on the pitch with your teammates.

You're in a hotel for four nights, unlike know rugby or football, where you might be training for, you know, a half a day or a full day and then you're home with your family. Cricket is very much kind of you're living with your teammates for pretty much for the summer. And so that presents both great times with teammates and opportunities to share your faith and just to live alongside team mates.

But also challenges in how the Christian negotiates that. And you can imagine a group of 11 lads in a dressing room for a whole day, especially when it's raining. You can imagine in the amount of dribble that gets talked and garbage that comes out of people's mouths, but just fun banter. I have such cherished memories of those times and that's part of why I loved the game and why we love the game is because it is a unique game in that respect, but it is presents its challenges.

I remember one occasion when in my Leicestershire time when I was, you know, kind of making my way through from the second team to the first team and we were in for training on one day and the whole squad was in the first team dressing room, kind of getting ready for training. And I walked into the changing room and our Aussie overseas player, I won't say his name because the story's a little bit crude or kind of crude for the day.

But I walked in and the Aussie overseas player said to me, Hey Ferrers what's this I hear about you not wanting to shag any birds until you get married? At which point the whole dressing room kind of went silent and I was put on the spot and he just walked in and I didn't know the player personally that well yet.

So I was like, Oh, good morning, good to see you to, mate. But I just said, Look, yeah, that's true. I'm waiting on waiting for the one. Waiting until I meet the one and kind of just made light of it. Of course there's a lot of banter and chirps after that out of there's, you know, that inevitable feeling of feeling this small, but at the same time, knowing that I was in the right place and a conviction that I was on the right path, so to speak, in my life.

And what came from that, no conversation, as you said in the dressing room, it's very hard to have heartfelt conversations when all the lads were in there - It's just banter and you've got to in some ways kind of honor that, but at the same time look for opportunities where the conversation can become more genuine. And there are other times when, when it did that time it didn't.

But later in the week, one of my fellow of second team players, Luke Wright, who was one of the juniors at the time at England u19s and became a great player for Sussex and England. He then asked me about it. He said, What's this? You know, when did you become a Christian? How did that happen? Why? What does this mean for your life?

Why do Christians believe this? He asked me a number of questions and that was in the dressing room for the second team. And there are a few other lads in the conversations. We had a great discussion about it and that was more genuine. Of course, one of the lads still had to chirp up and say, but Ferrers think about the damage you could do on the circuit, which is crude, I know.

But you know, those are the kind of the challenges, whether it be relationships, whether it be drinking on nights out between the second and the third day. The rain card for cricketers, you know, what do you do with that when you know, there's rain forecast the next day and the boys will have a big night out in Leeds, things like that.

You have to work out how to navigate those issues. But I loved it on the whole that I wasn't always perfect at times, but I did slip up and messed up.

Danno: It's noticeable actually, Ferrers, as we record these conversations, this seems to be an incredible link between coming to faith, knowing that you have faith in Christ to kind of into another almost existential experience of security and the joy that you didn't have before and the gratitude that inevitably spills over into the way you conduct yourself in the changing them in your case, you know, of a tale and so on, often failing, of course.

But there's an authenticity to it that leads to genuine conversations and anyone who's a competitive or elite player will know that these things are never forced. They're always intuitive, but they invariably follow from authentic behaviors. The courage to be your real self. As you've grown older. We're talking about the start of your cricketing career. We're talking about university here.

We've got a few minutes to play with. I wouldn't mind fast forwarding a little bit because as I interviewed you today, you're assistant pastor of Jersey Baptist Church, which is about a million miles away from being at Loughborough in the noughties But it's a distance. Meanwhile, of course, you've carried on playing and having been in Jersey for some time.

You qualified to play in 2018, and it's been a probably pretty exciting 18 T20 internationals. And included in that is the qualifications for the T20 World Cup. So been quite fun playing cricket and being a Baptist minister, give us the context.

Nick: Yeah, it was the Jersey cricket journey has been a real bonus, really. The the original move to Jersey was back in 2015 to take a role with Christian in Sport and combine that with with the church. But then eventually became a full time church worker for Jersey Baptist Church, which is what I am now been for five years there.

And it's a real joy kind of being involved with youth work there, children's work, young adults doing some of the preaching and yeah a real joy but still playing sport on the island and still playing a bit of hockey and and cricket locally. And of course the Jersey team, which wasn't really on the radar when I first moved there, I knew that they had a good kind of cricket set up, but I had to wait three years, I think four years before I could qualify.

It was originally four years. And then suddenly I got a phone call from the coach saying it's now three years, you're in, do you want to come and do it? And I it for about a second and said, yes, I did have a wife. And I think one child at that stage, trying to do my maths here. So I did have a wife and one child.

So, I did have to kind of do due diligence and pass it by the boss. But it was just a real privilege and honor to be able to play at that level again. And to play for Jersey is such an incredible set of players. Certainly the cricket world will see their journey and associate cricket where they were really just going from strength to strength in the world as T20 qualifiers and now qualified for the next ODI tournament in a build up to the 50 over World Cup.

So incredible setup, great coaching setup as well, which I love to kind of every minute of it and some great experiences there as well. So yeah.

Danno: As a more mature man, how did it pan out with your faith in sport there? Obviously it's an entirely different situation after many years as a Christian and in your day job. Now, I did the same pattern without going into individual details, obviously, but has the pattern we've discussed in this podcast emerged there?

Nick: It's amazing how even though life professionally can move on in many ways and family wise, it's amazing how sport still has that ability to really grab you. You know, know the tournaments for Jersey they come in tournaments as opposed to league so you’re away consumed in cricket for, well there's a build up of kind of six weeks training back in Jersey and then maybe a couple of friendlies in the UK and and then you're away for three, three weeks, sometimes four weeks, depending on the tournament and is amazing how you can still get engrossed in all those battles in terms of identity, self-worth, value, even though you're you're you're settled in life

in many other ways, professionally and family wise, is still has the ability to kind of challenge you. And it was, you know yeah there were times challenging times I remember one particular moment where I was particularly challenged by kind of like identity, and that was during the World Cup qualifiers in 2018, I think it was on 2019 when we were playing in the UAE.

So Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we were one of ten teams trying to qualify for the T20 World Cup. And we we had a really good tournament. We beat five games in our group. We beat Oman, who were above us in the rankings. We beat UAE, who were way above us in the rankings, and we beat Nigeria, which was an easier game.

We lost to Ireland. They're a strong team. But then there was one game against Hong Kong, which on paper and on form we were we should have won really, but we didn't. And that game cost us the ability then to, to qualify for the T20 World Cup. And I'd say probably that is like even just playing for many different teams, Cambridgeshire, University stuff, Leicestershire, Kibworth, my cricket club, many different journeys I've been on.

That was probably the the most soul destroying because I guess the, the opportunity for such a small team, small country to qualify for the T20 World Cup. But I remember the end of that game how hollow and gutted I was. I didn't perform very well in the game. And as a team, obviously, we had, you know, we were chasing a low score and we just banana skinned and didn't chase it.

And so and actually I reflect back on my the way I was after that game. I wasn't probably a great witness because I was probably more gutted than anyone else in the team. Everyone was gutted. But I remember, you know, a few teammates trying to talk to me about just general chit chat that evening after the game and the next day I just couldn't do it.

I was just stomach sick. And I guess it's probably because I thought, well, this is my last opportunity to have a real good stab at top level cricket just for enjoyment, really, and just to push myself, challenged myself with the skills God has given me. And it just didn't work out. I’m bit too old now to continue fighting that battle.

And there's better, better, better, younger players now that have come through in the Jersey set-up, which is a joy to see.

Danno: There is that that's why a great writer and friend of mine, called Ashley Null calls a Sport The School of Discipleship. Because as long as you play coach, compete, direct, you will have stories just like yours in your later thirties, you'll have them in your forties and fifties and sixties because God seems to use the it goes back where you came in.

He didn't just make you, but he knows every detail of you, your psyche, your physicality, your technique, hand-eye and he will use the thing that he gives you. The greatest talent is in to draw you closer to himself in joy and in adversity. That's how it seems to work, isn't it?

Nick: Absolutely. And I think go back to the original question about how sport and faith came together. I would say through my sport, my relationship with God has very much grown. You know, it's becoming a Christian, a follower of Jesus is very much about dependance and actually our rebellion and sinfulness. It is mainly around our independence. We live independently of God and ordain our lives in ways in which against God's order.

But sport has the ability to help us realize we we are very dependent on our creator. And sport has done that really over the years, you know, from two years after university playing professional cricket for Leicestershire, having a really good first year, then having a shocking second year, not getting offered another contract, having two years out, soul searching in my mid-twenties.

What am I going to do with this finding true identity? I remember the hollowness of kind of post that contract, the hollowness of people asked me, you know, what do you do for a living now? And I couldn't say I’m a professional cricketer because I wasn't signed, I wasn't contracted. I just remember the identity crisis that was for me and how I needed to get my identity right with with Jesus.

But also just the joy of kind of working that out, getting work graft in my game hard and then getting resigned again in 2007/2008. And that's when I made my debut for Leicester one day debut and had that year with Leicester and it didn't work out long term. That was my final year, but I was at peace and content knowing that I'd got everything out of my talent and ability and it wasn't quite good enough at age 25 to to be better than the 19/20 year olds that were coming through, even though it was I was doing well and was at peace with that.

And I think yeah. And I think in terms of, you know, witness and that authenticity, the authenticity is not just about kind of, I think, getting it right as a Christian, but also how we communicate, what we communicate when we get it wrong. And I think that's that's, you know, whether it's when I've had a few too many drinks or whether I've kind of, you know, thrown the toys out when we've got out, which for a batsman is is always the challenge, you know, what do you do with your kit, your helmet when you get back in the changing room?

How would you address an umpire's decision and language you're used? I've always kind of taken the opportunities to try and communicate grace. Actually, I'm a Christian because I get it wrong. Because I get it wrong. I recognize I need help. And that's why I'm a Christian, not because I think I get it right. I'm not a Christian because I get it right on the Christian because I am sinful.

I do need help. I do need Jesus to save me from myself so that I can live a life that glorify Him. So yeah, there's been many times, you know, I remember if I've got time for one more story, there's one occasion when we were just playing in a pro-am tournament in Barbados. The joys and pleasures of being a cricketer, you get to visit beautiful places.

So we're in Barbados as a team and we're playing. It's in a pro-am tournament and it was kind of more social than than serious. And so at the end of the game, both teams are in the dressing room and there were drinking fines going around. But this is Barbados, not UK. And so the drink was not beer, it was rum, which which of course in Barbados is like water.

It's very cheap. And so basically for any thing in the game, whether it be good or a good, whether a player's done something good or bad or stupid or funny, they had to do a finger for every thing they did. Unfortunately, it doesn't happen very often. I had a very, very good game which didn't pay well for the drinks fines.

So I ended up I got a few runs across some catches and I end up having to do, I think, six or seven fingers on the pint of rum. And I remember the fines were going round. Both teams there's lots of cheering around the dressing room on the table person have to stand up do their drink and throughout that whole kind of like 20 minutes as it was coming around smells Nick say no say no.

Tell them kind of what you believe and where you stand. Do it. Do it. In my head I was saying do it. It came out to me and I bottled it, I massively bottled that. I stood up and I tanked this ridiculous kind of half or more than a half pint of rum. And obviously I didn't drink much so I was legless after that, but I also just felt sick to the stomach because I felt like, you know, that wasn't who I was that wasn't my identity.

And my thing is, my teammates knew that that evening. They knew that I was gutted. And actually, I saw one of those teammates just a few weeks ago catching up. And interestingly, he said to me, he said to me, Ferrers one of my biggest regrets from that all that tournament was and speaking to another teammate, we both saying our biggest regret is that we didn't stick in for you and take that point for you because we knew you didn't want to do it.

And we knew you were gutted. So even in the mess, even where we get it wrong, if, if, if you know you're doing, by God’s strength, and by God's grace, what we can teammates notice and authenticity is actually communicating grace when we don't get it right. And actually, that's that's that's a better opportunity than when we get it right in many ways, I think. Yeah.

Danno: Nick Ferraby absolute pleasure, great stories, heartfelt, honest, the true faithful ones, good man. It's been a joy chatting with you. Thanks very much.

Nick: Thank you. Danno It's been great. Thank you for having me.

Jonny Reid: Well, thanks, Danno Thanks, Nick. That was super. Thank you for. Your time as well. Listening. And we hope and pray it's been an encouraging and challenging listen. Now, if you're involved in the world of sport, if you're in amateur or elite sport, then you can connect with other sports people like you. In one of our various networks, we have local networks for amateur sports people which meet in towns and cities all over the UK.

We then have similar for students but also for elite athletes and the parents of elite athletes. These help connect others in similar situations together, give them time in the Bible and a chance to pray together. If that sounds up your street, then do head to Christiansinsport.org.uk/networks and sign up today.

Thanks so much for listening to today's podcast. We've got plenty more to come soon. We'll see you next time.

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