Cricket is not an easy game to pursue by any means. There have been examples of players who have given it their all to become one but unfortunately couldn’t. One may call it luck or being at the right place at the right time, destiny does play a huge role in shaping one’s future. There are few select cricketers who were earlier pursuing some other profession just as to keep their passion burning.
We at StumpsandBails bring to 5 such cricketers who did strange jobs before becoming cricketers:
#5 Sheldon Cottrell (Soldier)
Sheldon Cottrell has lightened up world cricket with his “salute” celebration. But not many know the origin of this celebration. Cottrell was a soldier by profession. It is his way of paying respect to the Jamaica Defence Force. In order to perfectly render the salute, Cottrell had practiced it for six months while he was in the army. His physique is another giveaway that he was a soldier before he pursued cricket.
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#4 Nathan Lyon (Pitch curator)
Nathan Lyon is one cricketer who took the greatest leap of faith from being a pitch curator to becoming an off-spinner. He was the designated groundsman at the Adelaide Cricket Ground. Lyon was entrusted with the responsibility of curating pitches for international games. But it all changed one day when Lyon out of curiosity tried to bowl and the ball turned viciously. Thanks to Darren Berry, the coach of South Australian Redbacks who noticed Lyon’s ability to spin the ball and asked him to keep going at it. The rest as they say is history. Lyon is on the cusp of grabbing 400 Test wickets.
#3 Marnus Labuschagne ( Hot-spot guy)
The Steve Smith clone while batting, Marnus Labuschagne loves batting just as his idol does. He has had a fantastic start to his cricketing career and is right up there with the very best in Tests. But not many are aware of the fact that Labuschagne was the one handling the Hot-spot mechanism once. When Peter Siddle took a hattrick in Brisbane in 2010, it was Labuschagne who was handling the camera at that time. Labuschagne was paid $90/day for doing this illustrious job.
#2 Shane Bond (Traffic Policeman)
Shane Bond along with Shoaib Akhtar and Brett formed a pace triumvirate whose collective goal was to bowl as fast as one could. Bond terrorised batsmen with sheer pace and matched it with control and skill. But injuries cut short what could have been a fabulous career. Before Bond set his sights on cricket, he was a traffic police officer. He had once admitted that while being a traffic policeman he was constantly mocked by people and he didn’t have a great time.
#1 Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Ticket Collector)
It is perhaps the greatest fairytale of our times. The story of Mahendra Singh Dhoni is as brilliant as it gets. He used to serve as a ticket collector at the Kharagpur railway station, West Bengal. Nobody knew the greatest captain back then. He was a diligent official who performed his duties manfully. But Dhoni decided to pursue his passion with all that he could and ended up becoming one of the finest players of the modern game. World cricket is thankful for him taking this plunge.