The life of a professional cricketer can be glamorous: the riches of the Indian Premier League, the traditional allure of first-class cricket and the honour of representing your country.
But for those outside the upper echelon, there’s a lot of toil that just goes into moving up in the semi-professional ranks.
Rhys Mariu is one of the latest youngsters to be offered a chance at the top level. The 21-year-old made his debut for Canterbury last month and grasped it with both hands, scoring three fifties and a century in his first four games.
He’s aiming to secure one of 16 domestic contracts next season – meaning he would be paid by New Zealand Cricket to play the game over the summer.
Mariu, a former Canterbury and NZ under-19 captain, says that’s his next goal.
“I want to become a staple in the Canterbury set-up and establish myself as a top player… It’d be nice to grab one of those.”