While most of the professional cricketers start their careers by playing age-group cricket at the junior level and gradually make their way through the ranks to the senior level, there have been some cricketers in the past who have had to get indulged in other professions and rather than making a gradual progress, their progress to the senior level has been irregular.
Here are the 5 cricketers with alternate professions at some stage in their careers –
#1 MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni has been one of the greatest cricketers India has ever produced. The 38-year old is the only captain in the history of the game who has captained his side to a World Cup trophy in both 50-over and 20-over cricket. But, his life wasn’t easy before he cemented himself as a regular member of the Indian national cricket team.
There was a time in Dhoni’s life when he had to choose between cricket and a secured career in the government sector and because of the family obligations, the former Indian captain joined Indian Railways and started working as a Ticket Collector.
However, his love for the game never died and he eventually decided that he was better off pursuing his career in cricket and he resigned from his post.
#2 Brad Hodge
Brad Hodge represented Australia in both red-ball and white-ball cricket and he even has a double hundred to his name in Test match cricket, but before starting his professional cricket career, Hodge worked at a place where perhaps no other cricketer would have ever worked.
Hodge was an employee at a petrol pump in Australia as he needed money to take care of his expenses.
#3 Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon is probably the greatest off-spinner from Australia. He will still be second if compared to the legendary Shane Warne, but Warne was a wrist spinner, while Lyon is an off-spinner. Lyon’s record on the flat wickets of Australia, despite being a finger spinner, is simply outstanding.
But, the story of Lyon’s debut in first-class cricket is very, very interesting. He was a part of the grounds staff at the Adelaide Oval and used to drive the tractors, but having seen him bowl a couple of times casually and identified his potential, South Australia’s coach roped him in South Australia’s first-class team and it changed Lyon’s life completely.
#4 Shane Bond
Shane Bond was an express fast bowler from New Zealand. Not only was he capable of cranking it up to 150 KPH, but he could also swing the ball at that speed which made him lethal with the new and the old ball. Bond could reverse-swing the old ball as well.
Before Bond had a professional contract in the domestic circuit of New Zealand, he used to work in New Zealand Police.
#5 Colin Croft
Colin Croft was a part of the fast bowling battery that the West Indies had in the 70s. The Cricketers were not able to earn as much money in those times as they do now and hence, many cricketers used to work elsewhere, when not playing cricket. Croft used to work as an air traffic controller whenever he was not on national duty with West Indies.