Being a cricketer is not always as glamorous as it seems. Till the time a player plays well, performs well and is a part of the team, stardom remains at his feet. Once he retires, the player is remembered only if he’s done phenomenally well in his career. In recent times, cricketers have found different career options after retirement. Some have taken up coaching, some continue playing club cricket, others have taken up a different sport, like say golf. Many have tried their luck in business or sports commentary.
But there are some cricketers who landed up taking unusual jobs after they bid adieu to the game of cricket. The kind of jobs they got into is far away from the stardom and fame that they had received when they represented their country.
Here are 5 such international cricketers whose luck turned post retirement:
Henry Olonga, Zimbabwe – Singer
The fast and furious Zimbabwe bowler was a threat to many batsmen during the mid-1990s. He was a prominent bowler of the team along with Andy Flower. In 2003 World Cup, he and Andy wore black bands to protest the ‘death of democracy’ in Zimbabwe during the match against Sri Lanka in East London. Later, both the bowlers decided to step down from the team and announce retirement after they received death threats. Post retirement, they migrated to England. Andy Flower became the coach of the English cricket team in 2007. However, Henry Olonga tried his luck in the world of music and released an album in 2006 called Aurelia. Olonga played 30 Tests and 50 ODIs and 68 and 58 wickets respectively.
Arshad Khan, Pakistan – Cab driver in Sydney
The former Pakistani off-break bowler had played 9 Tests and 58 ODIs where he took a total of 164 wickets (31 in Tests, 133 in ODIs). He was first inducted in the team for Pakistan’s tour to West Indies back in 1997-98. In 1999, he was a member of the Pakistan team which won the Asian Test Championship in Dhaka against Sri Lanka. Until 2001, he was a regular bowler of the team but later, he was dropped. He made his comeback in 2005 against England to play the ODI series. He did well in that series but he couldn’t make a permanent space in the team thereafter. He announced retirement in 2006 and now as per the media reports of 2015, he is working as a cab driver in Australia.
Chris Cairns, New Zealand – Bus shelter washer
One of New Zealand’s most efficient and aggressive all-rounders Chris Cairns had played 62 Tests, 215 ODIs where he scored 3,320 and 4,950 respectively. With the ball, he was equally good as he had taken 218 wickets in Tests and 201 wickets in ODIs. He had even smashed 9 centuries in world cricket. But the way his international career ended was disgraceful as he was dropped from the team despite being in good form. Later in 2013, he was accused of involvement in match-fixing in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) where he was the captain of Chandigarh Lions. In 2014, he was found cleaning bus shelters in Auckland.
Chris Lewis, England
Former English speedster Chris Lewis played 32 Tests for England and picked up 93 wickets which include three five-wicket hauls. He had also scored a century which came against India in Chennai in 1993, that too on his birthday. After that, he failed to prove his worth. He played his last Test match against Pakistan on August 26, 1996. In the later years, unfortunately, he attained a criminal status as he had to serve 13 years imprisonment in 2009 after he was accused of smuggling liquid cocaine. Reportedly, he tried to smuggle a banned drug worth £140,000 by hiding it in fruit juice tins in his cricket bags.
Chris Harris, New Zealand
Another Kiwi all-rounder in this list, Harris was a key player of the team during the 90s. Harris was an aggressive player who had played 23 Tests and 250 ODIs and scored a total of 5,519 runs and picked up 218 wickets. He retired in 2004, and reportedly became a medical representative for an Australian company Orthotech.
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