Cricket in our country isn’t only a source of receiving fan tributes, staying in glamour for some days and then just retire for good. Sometimes it’s about finding a well-paid livelihood source for post-retirement life. We’ve seen cricketers not only in Pakistan but also in India where they do not put all their eggs in one basket. Extracting a career out of cricket is a fact indubitable.
We have seen former players who have taken their expertise back to the ground and joined sports channels for expert reviews and commentary. Some excelled in modeling and are good brand ambassadors and few of them opted for different businesses and occupations. We have also seen former cricketers taking on massive humanitarian work for society’s betterment.
Imran Khan is an inspiration. He utilized his Cricketing identity as a springboard to achieve the gigantic task of setting up Pakistan’s first fully operational cancer hospital, the state-of-the-art non-profit welfare facility for numerous underprivileged patients who cannot afford the treatment. Khan Sahib’s vision also spans to quality education and NUML University is a living example. Shahid Afridi Foundation is another organization to work impressively in the field of rural healthcare and community development. He also owns men’s clothing outlets in different cities of Pakistan along with a restaurant in Lahore named “Spice”. Likewise, Inzamam-ul-Haq joined hands with Saeed Anwar to invest in a premium “MeatOne” business, expanding in the country’s urban locations. News of Aleem Dar launching his restaurant, “Dar’s Delighto” in Lahore has also gone viral. The two famous wicketkeepers didn’t think much beyond cricket when it came to do something off the pitch. Both Rashid Latif and Moin Khan have their own cricket academies.
The trend of cricketers having alternate businesses is not limited to Pakistan only. Indian cricketers have materialized their plans quite significantly. According to reports, Virat Kohli has partnered in a chain of gyms across the country under the brand name Chisel alongside his own menswear brand called “Wrogn” and investment in the FC Goa franchise of the Hero Indian Super League. MS Dhoni has invested in sports teams like Chennaiyin FC and Ranchi Rays, and also holds a stake in Rhiti Sports – a company that manages cricketers. Sachin Tendulkar owns the Kochi franchisee (Kerala Blasters) in Indian Super League, as well as the Bengaluru franchisee (Bengaluru Blasters) in Pro Badminton League. Sehwag probably launched the best venture among all Indian cricketers, the Sehwag International School, an institution that offers residential facilities and preparing young students for secondary board exams.
I think these cricketers have learned a lot from the cricket pitch and fully applied the knowledge in their post cricket era and with no surprise have come out successful too. Their brainwork and strategy for the game plan has helped them to make fortunes and become good entrepreneurs, thus creating employment opportunities for their people.