Northamptonshire paceman Luke Evans is aiming to be a high flyer when his playing days are over having obtained his pilot’s licence during the winter.
Evans, 24, who joined Northamptonshire from Durham during the winter, has always been fascinated with planes and his dream of becoming an airline pilot has taken a step closer to reality thanks to the generosity of his parents and financial support from the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
“I started having flying lessons a couple of years ago when I was spending the winter playing club cricket out in Perth,” says Evans.
“My parents very kindly paid for my first lessons and I continued when I got back to Durham at the Northern Flying School at Newcastle.
“It’s an expensive hobby to have but the PCA help cricketers obtain vocational qualifications and they have paid around 50 per cent of my training fees.
“The aim now is to try to get a commercial pilot’s licence but I have to get around another 150 hours flying time so that’s going to take a bit of time.”
Ultimately Evans hopes to fly passenger jets and he has been encouraged by Adrian Pierson, the former Warwickshire, Leicestershire and Somerset off-spinner, who also qualified as a pilot while he was playing county cricket. Pierson switched to flying after he was axed as Derbyshire’s director of cricket and now flies charter jets out of Manchester Airport.
“I’ve spoken to Adrian a couple of times and he’s been of great assistance to me,” Evans said. “He’s passed on some pretty sound advice and, who knows, we might be sitting alongside each other in the cockpit at some stage in the future.”
Evans’s interest in flying began as a schoolboy obsession but hopes that his hobby can become a career.
“I’ve loved flying since I first flew on a family holiday when I was four,” says Evans. “I just love the whole idea of air travel although I am a nightmare to travel with. As soon as we get in the airport I sit near the window and look at the planes.
“But my dad’s advice was to get another a qualification as you are a long time retired from cricket and the average age of a fast bowler in county cricket is getting lower.”