There have been many stories of athletes trying hard to earn bread for their family post retirement but none so yet in the discipline of cricket. Upul Chandana, one of the best leg spinners for Sri Lanka is facing a similar kind of situation after his retirement from international cricket in 2007.
Chandana now runs a cricket shop named after him located inside the Nondescripts Cricket Club, according to Indian Express. Besides cricket gears, he also sells tennis balls, table tennis equipment, and jogging shoes.
While talking about how this idea of opening a cricket shop came to his mind, the cricketer said, “There are so many cricket clubs around and there weren’t too many good sports stores in the locality. So I thought I’ll start one.”
His career graph began to fall when he decided to join the unofficial Indian Cricket League post his retirement in 2007. He was not only banned by the Sri Lankan Cricket Board due to this, he also claims that he didn’t receive the complete amount mentioned in his contract. “It was a stupid decision. The next year, they started the IPL, and they still owe me 60,000 USD,”
“In my childhood in Galle, we played with one ball for months. There was no sports store and we had little money. Even the schools couldn’t afford it. The first time I held a cricket ball, my fingers almost went inside the ball. It was almost two separate pieces. So I decided one day when I grow up I’d open a sports store,” he further explained his stance.
Chandana who initially had to sit out because of the legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan till he became a bowling all-rounder. Upul Chandana represented Sri Lanka in 147 ODI’s taking 151 wickets and scoring 1627 runs. He was also an important member of the Sri Lankan that won the 1996 Cricket World Cup in India.