For every aspiring cricketer, there is a fixed sequence of events in his life. It all begins with age-group cricket were coming up the ranks is very important. Once that happens, the player is certain to earn his maiden call-up to the national side and an opportunity to leave a stellar impact by performing for the country at the highest level. A successful player goes onto dominate world cricket for 2 decades or so provided he maintains desired levels of fitness and stays away from the off-field chaos. Having fulfilled the dream of playing for the country and raised its stature by notches in world cricket, the player happily hangs his boots by announcing retirement and is highly obliged to spend the rest of his life in the soothing company of his family, who have indeed sacrificed a lot for the accomplishment of a stellar career.
While many think on those lines, others are willing to give it back to the game which has made them the person we all know. This includes coaching the younger lot, being part of the selection panel or providing valuable insights about the game as a commentator or expert on a post-match show. This is one stream of operation, but there are several others, who love to venture into some other fields post-retirement. The decision, though, has surprised us and made us worry about their efficiency in that particular field. To everyone’s astonishment, they have done a fantastic job and compelled us to forget that they were once a cricketer before trying their fortunes in the respective field. In the below piece, we look at 5 such players, who chose an alternate career path after retirement:
1. Salil Ankola
Having made his debut along with India’s greatest batsman, Sachin Tendulkar, Ankola rose to fame with his medium-pace bowling and came up as a hefty prospect going forward.
Unfortunately, the man could never quite cement his place and thus, decided to bid adieu to the sport and take up acting as a career. He has acted in many TV shows and movies and looks at home while performing those roles.
Ankola featured in 20 ODIs, picking up 13 wickets at an average of 47.31 and economy rate of 4.57. While he played only a solitary Test to pick 2 wickets at an average of 64.
2. Nathan Astle
The stylish batting all-rounder for the Kiwis, who was indeed a mainstay for the side during the late 90s and early 2000s, ventured into the field of auto racing post-retirement.
In 2010, he came third in the South Island Sprint Car Championship which was indeed a testament to his skills as a driver and justified his role as an all-rounder not just in cricket but elsewhere in life as well.
Astle mustered 7090 runs from 223 ODIs and also picked 99 wickets at an economy rate of 4.71. While in 81 Tests, he has blasted 4702 runs with best score of 222 and scalped 51 wickets at an economy rate of 2.26.
3. Henry Olonga
Being unusually fast and aggressive not just in his approach but overall demeanour, Olonga was one of those few Zimbabwean players who enjoyed success against the top-ranked teams of those times.
The pacer has scalped 58 wickets from 50 ODIs at an average of 34.09 and economy rate of 5.76. While he has dismissed 68 batsmen from 30 Tests at an average of 38.53 and economy rate of 3.49.
After his retirement, the former speedster released an album called Aurelia in 2006 which is a huge indication of his love for music. Olonga has expressed his wish to pursue a career in singing and leave the world awestruck with his mesmerizing voice and emotions portrayed.
4. Curtly Ambrose
This tall and pacy bowler for the Windies was batsmen’s worst nightmare in the early 90s. After bringing down curtains on his celebrated career, Ambrose decided to try his luck as a guitar-player.
The great man played the instrument in a band named Big Bad Dread and the Baldhead. There are several videos surfacing on the internet which shows the man playing his beloved guitar and warming the hearts of his die-hard fans and earnest supporters.
The fiery bowler has picked 225 wickets from 176 ODIs at an average of 24.13 and economy rate of 3.48. While he has scalped 405 wickets from 98 Tests at an average of 20.99 and economy rate of 2.31.
5. Andrew Flintoff
With direct comparisons made to a great all-rounder, Ian Botham, Flintoff’s feisty character inspired England to many wins from seemingly improbable situations.
Having given his heart and soul for the country while playing the sport, Flintoff unexpectedly took to boxing after his retirement. He did lose a lot of weight and developed a muscular physique to meet the requirements of the sport.
His famous victory against Richard Dawson in 2012 is forever etched in the minds of boxing lovers and cricket fanatics, who valued him the most as a cricketer.
In 141 ODIs, Flintoff has smashed 3394 runs at an average of 32.02 and also picked 169 wickets at an average of 24.38. While in 79 Tests, he has chronicled 3845 runs at an average of 31.78 and dismissed 226 batters at an average of 32.79.