Hanging one's boots is always one of the most painful decisions for any professional sportsperson, cricket players included.
Sport tends to play such an imperative role in their lives that most of them cannot comprehend their lives without it. But like every good thing in life, a cricket player's career also doesn't last forever.
Five cricket players who took up unusual cricket paths
After their retirements, most cricket players choose to stay involved in the game. Some open cricket academies to nurture young talent while others turn to media and commentary. However, a few tread down very unusual paths
Joginder Sharma, who bowled the celebrated last over in the final of the inaugural World T20 back in 2007, became a police officer in Haryana after his retirement. Allrounder Sanath Jayasuriya served as a Member of Parliament for Sri Lanka's Matara district after he hung his boots.
On that note, let us take a look at five such cricket players who chose unusual paths after retiring from cricket:
#1 Curtly Ambrose - Bass Guitarist
Curtley Ambrose was an unstoppable force of nature during the 90s alongside his compatriot Courtney Walsh. Despite West Indies having a weak batting lineup in those days, the deadly duo of Ambrose and Walsh helped the team win some memorable matches courtesy their blistering bowling performances.
— Sir Curtly Ambrose (@ambrose_curtly) October 30, 2020
Ambrose played 98 Tests and picked up 405 wickets at an average of 20.99 during the course of his cricket career. He also picked up 225 ODI wickets in 176 matches for the West Windies.
After retiring in 2000, Ambrose joined the “Dread and The Baldhead” - an Antiguan reggae band - as a bass guitarist.
#2 Chris Lewis - Convicted for smuggling
Allrounder Chris Lewis was once termed the next Ian Botham, but his career never really took off.
Lewis played 32 Tests for England and picked up 93 wickets that included three 5-wicket hauls. He came into the limelight for scoring his only Test century against India at the Chepauk in Chennai in 1993. Lewis, however failed to replicate such performances and played his last Test in August 1996 against Pakistan.
He shocked the cricket fraternity when he was imprisoned for 13 years in 2009 after being found guilty of smuggling liquid cocaine worth more than £140,000 hidden in his cricket bags.
🎧 PODCAST 🎧
Chris Lewis candidly reveals he was "scared like a little boy" when he first went to prison and how he overcame the experience.
🔊 Apple: https://t.co/5jS3vgv8UY
🔊 Spotify: https://t.co/63Ye9ixLv0@ClairmonteChris @wardyshorts @nassercricket @athersmike pic.twitter.com/2JQdZDYHwv
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) April 6, 2020
The former cricket player now gives advice to the younger generation on how to avoid the pitfalls of the game.
#3 David Sheppard - Bishop in a Church
Not to be confused with cricket umpire David Shepherd, David Sheppard played county cricket for Sussex. He also represented England in 22 Tests and scored three centuries.
Sheppard had a magnificent first-class career, playing 230 matches and scoring as many as 45 centuries. He was widely considered to be one of the great post-war batsmen in county cricket. After his career came to an end, he became one of the most outspoken bishops of the Church of England.
Sheppard, however, succumbed in 2005 after a long battle with cancer.
#4 Arshad Khan - Cab Driver
Pakistan cricket player Arshad Khan represented his country in nine Test matches. The Peshawar-born off-break bowler had an inconsisting career, though.
He earned his maiden call-up during the West Indies tour in 1997-98. The next year, he featured in the victorious Pakistan team against Sri Lanka in the Asian Test Championship in Dhaka.
After he was dropped from the team in 2001, Arshad Khan returned to domestic cricket. He made a brief comeback in 2005 in ODIs but was unable to seal his place in the playing XI.
After his retirement, he relocated to Australia and became a cab driver.
#5 Chris Old - Fish and chips shop owner
Chris Old was a regular player in the English bowling attack from 1972 to the early 1980s.
He made his debut against India in December 1972, with his first scalp being that of Sunil Gavaskar. Old picked up six wickets in his debut game and scored 50 runs across both innings.
After his retirement, Chris Old started a fish-and-chips restaurant with his wife Letita on Praa Sands in Cornwall.