Cricket has been a boon for so many viewers so all-around the world. So many players were kindled with the idea of becoming a cricketer by watching players they liked.
Some got into cricket because they realized that sports had to be their calling, while there is also a group of players who entered cricket not just to follow their passion but to also help them and their families financially.
We have seen so many cricketers achieve fame and money from cricket, but how many players do you know who barely had anything before they established themselves in World Cricket? Cricwizz's today's article is about those stories that are unsung, those players who reached if not among the richest but at a position that they wouldn't have imagined.
T Natarajan (India)
Thangarasu Natarajan, from Tamil Nadu's Salem, first caught attention after his stellar performance in the IPL season. His consistency and the frequency with which he bowled the yorkers, his pace, and his wicket-taking ability took no time to get noticed.
Natarajan made his international debut in 2020 against Australia and proved his worth from the moment he got rid of Marnus Labuschagne on his debut.
However, it all started with a man who had the responsibility of four younger siblings, mother working in a fast-food joint, and father in a power loom, Natarajan who would've never dreamt of featuring as a bowler for India, passed through a government school with cricket as his hobby. His finances weren't anywhere near good and he needed more from his life to satisfy his family's needs.
His career kicked off after he started representing Chennai in the fourth division and incessant efforts earned him an opportunity to play for the Tamil Nadu Ranji team. His career was also on the line when his bowling action came under the scanner and was being reviewed.
But Natarajan did not let his focus shift away and kept working towards his bowling and performing better in competitive games. As far as the current scenario is concerned, he is struggling with injuries but we can hope that he gets back stronger and works harder to earn more opportunities.
Nathan Lyon (Australia)
Who could've known that a groundsman would go on to become one of Australia's best spinners of all time? Lyon used to be a ground staff at the Adelaide cricket ground and was entitled to take charge of the pitches for domestic and international games on the ground.
Lyon's story took an inspirational turn when one day he thought of casually bowling a ball or two. Make no mistake, Lyon was not a trained off-spinner but his balls hit the wicket and he was able to spin the ball as well.
That is when the Big Bash Franchise Redbacks coach, Darren Berry noticed his bowl turning well and asked Lyon to start professional training.
Since then, Lyon hasn't looked back, while he has only enhanced his bowling skills over the years. He is not only Australia's regular starter in red-ball cricket but he is also only a wicket away from 400 Test wickets, a feat not many bowlers have achieved in their careers.
Lyon's future was bright and he proved his point the moment he was trusted and handed an opportunity. He debuted against Sri Lanka
In August and not just that, he also contrived to get Kumar Sangakkara, one of the greatest test batsmen out.
From rags to riches, Lyon changed his fortune all by himself.
Makhaya Ntini (South Africa)
South Africa's first black cricketer, Ntini had a tough life before he became a cricketer. From sharing boots to play cricket to even running barefoot, Ntini had to do it the hard way.
Ntini not only got a career because of toiling hard in cricket but he also earned a scholarship for a part of his education.
Ntini's story is no different from the others on the list. Even he wasn't prepared to be a cricketer but circumstances and fate played their part, with Ntini's urge to help his family of seven provided him with the inspiration to do everything it takes to make it big.
Ntini had a great career, picking over 600 wickets in Tests and Odis combined. Something to learn from, isn't it?
David Warner (Australia)
A cricketer who you couldn't have imagined had a tough past, David Warner didn't have a life as easy as he has it now. Years of hard work and persistence made Warner who he is today.
David Warner in his early days used to work in a store, picking shelves for a handful of money. Lived in a stacked apartment, and had to learn things the hard way.
David Warner is one of Australia's greats and continues to be the dynamic batsman he is. For a player whose father worked in a factory, David Warner has proved that if you work hard then anything is possible.
Ravindra Jadeja (India)
"Sir" Ravindra Jadeja as well know him, Jadeja was far from being called a "sir" or with any other salutation. His father was a security guard, while his mother was a nurse.
Jadeja lost his mother when he was only 16 and life wasn't fair to him in any way. His finances were poor, while he had to step up to ensure a healthy life for his family.
Jadeja worked his way up and earned a spot in India's Under-19 World Cup that was held in Malaysia in 2008 along with Virat Kohli. A year later he made his international debut as well against Sri Lanka. Very soon his performances started to speak for themselves, and then finances weren't an issue for him as he became a regular in the Indian team and also managed to sign a handsome contract with one of IPL's most successful franchises, Chennai Super Kings.
From almost quitting cricket after his mother's demise to becoming one of the world's best-ever fielders, Jadeja deserves every bit of it.
These players are just some of the examples who made it big only because of cricket. Other big names like Dale Steyn, Chris Gayle, Hardik Pandya, Irfan Pathan, and Yusuf Pathan also did not have a hefty bank balance in their early stages of life.
However, their hard work and determination helped them to achieve so much. Which story seems to be the most inspiring to you? Let us know via our social media accounts. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. We bet you won't be disappointed.
Stay tuned for more updates.
Cover Credits: CricketAustralia