10 cricketers and their non-cricketing talents

Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan
Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan

Being a cricketer, players are obviously expected to excel in the sport, either with the bat or ball, depending on their area of expertise.

Over the years, the game of cricket has produced some exceptional players, from Sir Don Bradman to Sachin Tendulkar and Michael Holding to Wasim Akram, who immersed themselves completely in the sport.

Every cricketer, though, also has a life outside the game. Some cricketers explore another dimension to their personality during their playing days itself, to release some of the pressure of expectations that can take a toll on them. Few others find different ways to stay creative after hanging their boots from the game.

Either way, a lot of cricketers end up discovering that they can do a lot more than just succeed with bat and ball.

Gifted cricketers

In this feature, we take a look at 10 cricketers, past and present, who have talents to showcase going beyond the cricket field.

#1 Shikhar Dhawan (Flute)

Shikhar Dhawan. Pic: Twitter
Shikhar Dhawan. Pic: Twitter

Veteran Team India batsman Shikhar Dhawan is currently in Sri Lanka on his maiden assignment as captain of the limited-overs side. Dhawan is one of India’s finest openers in ODIs, having scored 5977 runs in 142 one-day matches at an average of 45.28 with 17 hundreds.

Apart from being a wonderful cricketer and batter, known for his thigh-five celebrations, Dhawan is also excellent at playing the flute. The 35-year-old keeps sharing proof of his talent on social media. Watch Dhawan play the flute in the videos below:

#2 Yuvzendra Chahal (Chess)

Yuvzendra Chahal. Pic: Yuvzendra Chahal/ Instagram
Yuvzendra Chahal. Pic: Yuvzendra Chahal/ Instagram

Team India and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) leg-spinner Yuvzendra Chahal has won quite a few matches for India and RCB with his smart bowling. He has an impressive record in both international cricket and the IPL. Chahal has claimed 92 scalps in 54 ODIs and 62 wickets in 48 T20Is. In the IPL, he has picked up 125 wickets in 106 games.

That he is known as a shrewd thinker of the game comes as no surprise since Chahal was a chess player during his school days. The cricketer also represented India in chess at the World Youth Chess Championship. In fact, Chahal’s name is listed on the World Chess Federation's official site.

#3 Ajinkya Rahane (Karate)

Ajinkya Rahane has a black belt in karate
Ajinkya Rahane has a black belt in karate

Team India’s Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane is known as a simple, reserved cricketer, a complete contrast to his skipper Virat Kohli. Even when he led India to a stunning Test win in Australia earlier this year in Kohli’s absence, he never went overboard with his celebrations.

There is a different side to Rahane though. He actually holds a black belt in karate. According to various media reports, the Mumbai cricketer had to break 50 bricks back-to-back and also had to allow 50 people to jump over his stomach to clear his exams.

#4 Andrew Flintoff (Boxing)

Andrew Flintoff
Andrew Flintoff

When fit and in form, former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff was one of the best cricketers in the game. However, he could not fulfill his potential and ended his career with a lot less than what his talent deserved. Still, he had his moments in the game. He was exceptional during the 2005 Ashes triumph. Filntoff finished his career with more than 3000 runs in both Tests and ODIs. He also claimed 400 international wickets with his medium pace.

Post-retirement, Flintoff made his professional boxing debut in November 2012. It was a memorable debut as Flintoff scored a points victory over American boxer Richard Dawson in Manchester.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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