It's almost four years since Cumbrian Jamie Harrison last turned out for Durham in a first-class match.

Having made his first-class debut alongside fellow Cumbrian Ben Stokes, Liam Plunkett, Paul Collingwood and Steve Harmison in May 2012, the left-arm seamer struggled with a host of injury problems at Chester-le-Street and left the club in 2016.

The 28-year-old, who came through the ranks at Cleator Cricket Club, is currently studying sports science at Liverpool John Moores University and working as a personal trainer. Now living in St Helens, he admits adapting to “everyday life” was, initially, a real challenge at the end of his professional cricketing career.

“When I left cricket, I was in a bad way,” he says.

“You hear about lads struggling to adapt to ‘everyday life’ and I definitely fell into that category. I went from being with team-mates constantly to being back home.

"At the time, I was in my nan’s back bedroom and you kind of lose contact with your team-mates and you get told ‘Right, you have to work now’.

“So, I was working in a warehouse, doing 12-hour nightshifts and getting paid pennies compared to what I was getting at Durham.

"It was a big adjustment and it was dark. I have no qualms about saying I suffered with depression during it.

"But my family got me through it.”

Injury-plagued Harrison may have had crippling trouble with his knees, in particular, but he concedes it was only really once his professional career had finished he began to focus on what life off the field could entail for him.

He explains: “We always had chats with the PCA, the Professional Cricketers’ Association. They would come on the media day [at Durham] every year and past players would say ‘You need to invest in your post-cricket career because you won’t believe how little time you have in the game’.

“Like everyone in that room, I thought it’ll be fine, it’ll be fine – a bit of denial, a bit of arrogance, maybe. Then when the time came, I thought ‘What do I do now?’ Luckily, the PCA got me on to a personal training course which they funded half of.

“I sat down with a PCA rep and we made a four or a five-year plan. The plan was to qualify as a personal trainer, go to university to achieve a degree in sports science and then do a fourth year in strength and conditioning, then to get back involved in professional sport doing strength and conditioning, helping people avoid the injuries I had or avoid making the mistakes I made maybe. I’m currently on the fourth year of that plan.”

When fit, Harrison - one of Stokes’ former house-mates - often impressed, but struggled to maintain fitness long enough to star consistently.

“It was frustrating. It seems like it was always two steps forward, then three back,” Harrison admits.

“When I did get a good run of games, I impressed and built a bit of momentum, then one thing or another would hinder me.

"I had the stress fractures in my shin when I was really young when I started to break into the first-team.

"Rightly or wrongly, I just took painkillers to get through that to earn my first professional contract.

“Then when my knee flared up following the rehab on my knee, naively maybe, I rushed the rehab out of anxiety that I might not get another contract. When I had my knee op, I had one year left on my contract.

“Instead of getting advice off the coaches, I maybe rushed my rehab and that’s left me with some life-long niggles. It was frustrating.

"As soon as I got a run, I’d say I got a good amount of success but, towards the end of my career, it just kind of fizzled out.”

Since his Durham departure, spells at Hoylandswaine and Stockton have followed but Harrison has not taken to the cricket field this summer- instead focusing on his role as a father.

“When I left Durham, the following season I played for Hoylandswaine which is in the Drakes Huddersfield League. It didn’t go very well,” he says.

“My knee was the same as what it was when I finished at Durham. I went from having two months of bowling indoors, and having a gradual build-up, to bowling outdoors [for Durham], to literally having someone say ‘Right, the first game is on Saturday. It’s in Huddersfield.’

"So, I had no access to nets around here. It just didn’t go very well.”

He adds: “Last year, I played back up at Stockton, the [club] team I played for during my time at Durham. I started alright, but slowly but surely, the knee just deteriorated.

"This year is the first year since I was 11 at Egremont that I have had off [from cricket], just to kind of give my body a bit of a rest.

“It’s frustrating, but I’m a father now and I get to spend more time with my daughter which is good.

"It’s frustrating when your heart and your head are still there and you are just as competitive, and you want to get into battles as a bowler, but your body just doesn’t allow it.”