5 Famous cricketers who had also tried a career in football

Vinay Chhabaria

Virat Kohli showing some football skills before the cricket match.

Sports has always entertained the audience all around the world irrespective of their form. Whether the sport is football or cricket, the audience is always ready to give in their best support to the players. 

The dominance of football is witnessed more in England due to the prevalence of various leagues and club games. However, from the 19th century, football as a sport was not only limited to England but even spread to other countries of the world. Its prevalence can be seen in today’s time as well. However, cricket as a sport has slightly more fans as compared to football pertaining to the interest of audiences. 

Nowadays, the cricketers play football before their game as a warm-up activity. It helps them in gaining speed and boosts for their cricket match. However, there are various professional cricketers also who had first entered into the world of football and then made a career in cricket.

There are various cricketers who failed in their foot-balling career and here is the list of 5 such cricketers of the world.

#1 Vivian Richards

Vivian Richards entered into the footballing career in the year 1974

Vivian Richards whom we recognize as the greatest batsman of the cricketing world had also tried to keep his feet in the football shoes during his early days. Before making cricket as his profession, he debuted on the football field as the team member of Antigua’s National team.

Sir Vivian Richards is the only player to play the Cricket world cup as well as the Football world cup. During the Football World Cup of 1974, Vivian played the qualifier matches for Antigua National team as a debutant. However, on the sadder side, his home team lost all 4 games in which he played. In 1 match they lost by a huge margin of 11-0 which became the turning point of Richard’s career.

#2 Ian Botham

Ian Botham pursued his footballing career for Scunthorpe United team.

The legendary English cricketer regarded as Sir Ian Terence Botham is also the one among those 5 cricketers who chose football first. He selected football as his main profession in the year 1978. He stayed with football for the total of 8 years and later on realized that football was not meant for him and was way harder than it seemed to him.

He played international football from 1978 to 1985 for 2 teams. Yeovil Town and Scunthorpe United. He then switched to cricket after 11 appearances on the football field. Hence, later on, he gave up his foot-balling career and started focusing on cricket which took him to a different level in the world.

#3 Chris Balderstone

Chris Balderstone was a cricket as well as a football player for England

Chris Balderstone was a British sports person who pursued his career in cricket as well as football. He mastered his class in both of these sports and left the world as a professional footballer and cricketer in the year 2000. He played cricket as a batsman and football as a midfielder for his home side.

However, he played more of football matches as compared to cricket. He made a total of 117 appearances as a football player and only 2 appearances as an international cricketer. However, he also played 390 domestic matches at first-class level in which he scored 19,034 runs at a mind-boggling average of 34.11.

Referring to his football career, he made his debut in the year 1958 through Huddersfield town team. He scored 25 goals in his entire football career which spanned over 131 matches.

#4 Denis Compton

Denis Compton earned great success in cricket as well as football.

Denis Compton was one of the most successful sports persons who pursued his career in cricket as well as football. He played his debut football match in the year 1936 and his debut cricket match in the year 1937. In spite of playing both the sports simultaneously, he managed to balance both of them and earned huge success and fame from them.

He chose Arsenal as his football team and England as his cricket team and played for the same teams until his last match. He scored the total of 15 goals in his foot-balling career and smashed the total of 5807 test runs in his career.

#5 Wally Hardinge

Wally Hardinge only played 1 international cricket match for England.

Wally Hardinge was also one among the other cricketers whose career dwindled between football and cricket. He first kept his feet in the football studs and then in the cricket shoes. He made his debut as a footballer in the year 1905 and as a cricketer in the year 1921.

Wally Hardinge was the one who received more success in his foot-balling career as compared to cricket. During his foot-balling career from 1905 to 1921, he played for 3 different teams and scored 60 goals in his 210 appearances. However, he made his cricketing debut in the year 1921 but got only 1 chance to play an international test match in which he scored 30 runs.