Most of the cricketers are introduced to the sport by their parents, siblings or friends. Besides playing cricket, they pursue some educational course or the other or have a family business. But they take to cricket full time once they establish themselves in the national team. Cricwizz takes a look at some cricketers and what occupation they would have been in if they had never played the gentleman’s game.
Sourav Ganguly: Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly redefined captaincy with his aggressive leadership. He made captains wait for the toss, he did not hesitated to go topless to celebrate a victory and supported youngsters at all costs. What if he has never played the sport? Ganguly is from an affluent family in Kolkata which has a flourishing print business. Ganguly too would have joined the family business if not for his brother Snehasish for introducing him to the sport. Snehasish was an established cricketer for Bengal and he persuaded his father to get Sourav enroll in a coaching camp during summer holidays. And the rest is history.
Brett Lee: He was known for his fiery bowling during his playing days. He was one of the fastest bowlers in international cricket during his prime. Even while playing cricket, Lee followed another of his passions — music — religiously. He is part of a band called ‘Six & Out’, which also has his brother Shane and other New South Wales cricketers. Lee plays guitar for the band. Also, post retirement, he has taken to acting and recently played the main lead in ‘UnIndian’. Lee would have definitely entertained people with his music and acting skills if he had not been a cricketer.
AB de Villiers: AB is a multi-talented person. He would have been a master in any sport if not a cricketer. AB played golf, tennis, hockey, badminton, swimming and rugby during his young days and excelled in all of them before he chose cricket as his career. Cricket’s gain is other sport’s loss. Besides, AB was good in studies as well. He won national medal from the Late Nelson Mandela for a science project. There was no dearth of careers for the South African star.
Jonty Rhodes: Cricket is blessed to have Jonty Rhodes, who redefined the art of fielding with his diving and gravity-defying stunts. Rhodes would have been a hockey player if not a cricketer. He represented South Africa in hockey. He was part of the national hockey squad to play in 1992 Olympic Games, but the team did not qualify for it.
Anil Kumble: The former Indian leg-spinner is the highest wicket-taker for India in Test cricket. Not many know that Kumble is an engineer and would have been just any other IT professional if he has not taken up cricket full-time. Kumble graduated in B.E (in Mechanical Engineering) from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering in 1991–92.
R Ashwin: The Indian off-spinner is one of the best bowlers in the world currently. He is also an engineer and even worked for an IT firm before taking cricket as his full-time career. Ashwin attended SSN College of Engineering and graduated with a BTech in Information Technology. Engineering’s loss is cricket’s gain. Ashwin has even said he has applied his engineering knowledge to the art of bowling.
Javagal Srinath: If you are in Karnataka and don’t end up becoming an engineer, then you are wasting your life. There’s a joke that in India, you become an engineer first and then decide what to do in life. Another Karnataka player Javagal Srinath completed his engineering before taking pace bowling full time. Srinath holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Instrumentation Technology from Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, Mysuru.
Mathew Hayden: The former Australian opener terrorised bowlers with his attacking and aggressive batting. He holds the highest Test score of 380 by an Australian. During his playing days, Hayden used to prepare meals for his teammates on tours. He carried forward his love for cooking and has penned two cookbooks till now. His first, The Matthew Hayden Cookbook’ was published in 2004. A second book, The Matthew Hayden Cookbook 2, was published in 2006. Hayden would have made a great chef if not a cricketer.
Dwayne Bravo: He is one of the best T20 all-rounders in the world currently. He was part of Chennai Super Kings and Gujarat Lions in IPL. Even during his cricketing days, he turned towards his passion for music. He launched his single music Chalo Chalo in Chennai in 2015. His most recent single Champion has been quite popular. Bravo is already a rock star with or without cricket.
Rahul Dravid: The Wall was unmovable at No 3 in Indian Test team. He played many match-winning knocks for India. Indian cricket would have been poorer without Dravid. But few know that Dravid was studying MBA when he got the call for the national team. And then the rest is history. For records, Dravid earned a degree in commerce from St. Joseph’s College of Commerce, Bangalore. He was studying MBA in St Joseph’s College of Business Administration before he received the national call-up. He would have made an excellent manager in any field.
MS Dhoni: The Indian limited-overs skipper switched from a goalkeeper to wicketkeeper. But before he made his entry into the Indian national team, the Jharkhand cricketer worked as a Train Ticket Examiner at Kharagpur Railway Station from 2001 to 2003. But once he entered the national team, he went on to rewrite cricket records with his big hitting and leadership. He went on to become the only skipper to have won all three major ICC titles — 50-overs World Cup in 2011, 2007 World T20 and 2013 Champions Trophy. And now, a biopic on him is set to be released.