Over the years, we have witnessed several players who have been excellent in all aspects of cricket. However, there have also been players, who have excelled at cricket as well as in other sports. They have made their team and country proud in more than one sport.
While some played a different sport in their childhood and then switched to cricket, some took up other sports after they retired from cricket. For example, former England cricketer Ian Botham was a talented footballer who played in the English Football League. South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes was once part of the country’s hockey team.
Just like them, many Indian cricketers too have played multiple sports in their life. They have made a name for themselves in cricket as well as in different sports. In this article, we take a look at five Indian cricketers who have played other sports:
#5 Yuzvendra Chahal
Indian cricketer Yuzvendra Chahal is one of the top white-ball spinners in the country. He is currently the leading wicket-taker for India in the T20I format, with 79 wickets in 62 matches. His wickets tally includes two four-wicket hauls and one five-wicket haul with 6/25 as his best figures in T20Is.
The leg-spinner was also a former chess player. He has played for India at the junior levels. Chahal won the National Under-12 Championship in Kolkata in 2002. He has also represented the country at the Asian and the World U12 Junior Championships. The Rajasthan Royals cricketer wanted to make a name for himself in Chess. However, due to a lack of sponsorships, he couldn’t continue with the sport.
Chahal then started practicing cricket on the playground that his father built for him on their agricultural land. Overall, he has 197 International wickets for India in limited-overs cricket in 129 matches. The leg-spinner is yet to make his Test debut for the country.
#4 Ajit Agarkar
Former India cricketer Ajit Agarkar is probably one of the most underrated cricketers to have played for India. He had a good career for the country, especially in white-ball cricket. Along with his pace bowling, he was also a very capable batter for India in the lower batting order.
Ajit Agarkar has taken 349 wickets in 221 international matches across formats, at an average of 31.09 and an economy rate of 4.51. His wickets tally includes three five-wicket hauls. The bowling all-rounder’s best figures of 6/41 came during India’s famous win in Adelaide in 2003-04. He also has a century at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Post-retirement, Ajit Agarkar took up golf. He has had an impressive run in the sport so far and has won a few amateur tournaments as well. In 2016, Ajit won the finals of the BMR World Corporate Gold Challenge India. It took place at the Prestige Golfshire in Bengaluru.