Cricketers are gods, the glamorous kings with fashion sense, dating models and so much more. But many of these kings have humbling stories – from rags to riches – that can inspire films and they have already done so.
The obvious names are well known world over, but there are names and stories that most cricketing fans do not know of. Here are the top picks.
Zimbabwe’s left arm spinner at one time, his story is that of a fighter. Life was always at odds with him from the moment he was born. He had lost most of his hearing owing to meningitis at birth! Only a surgery later restored some of his hearing. The same disease also ruined his coordination skills. When he finally played for Zimbabwe, his career was cut short as he was not considered useful.
His story on how he became a world class cricketer involves lots of menial labour to earn money. This included cleaning toilets and repairing air conditioners! Finally, he made his comeback to Zimbabwe cricket as he reached the end of his 30s. Together with Utseya, the two became the world’s leading bowlers of their time.
A left arm fast bowler, Kamran Khan is known for his slinging action and his sudden rise to fame under the Rajasthan franchise of IPL in 2009. Hailing from a wood cutter family, he obviously was endowed with strong shoulders but his life was mostly spent in poverty. He only had couple of cricketing kits and for trials he had to commute long distances. Without money, he had no place to sleep and would therefore spend his nap times in Railway Stations. He lacked the money to reach the trials that would matter until luck showed me a door that he barged into.
Rajasthan’s coaching director accidentally spotted him in some T20 tournament held in Mumbai and soon the 18-year-old was given a nice $24,000 contract! A pity though that this money could have saved the life of his mother had he been picked two years before. He continues to sleep on the floor of five star hotels since he finds the beds too uncomfortable.
Chandimal’s career has been a roller coaster ride. From being called a chucker and ultimately banned from the sport, he rejuvenated himself behind the stumps as a wicket keeper earning his place back in the national side. Through college, he focused on learning the art of wicket keeping and constantly improved his batting. Then in 2004, the Tsunami struck that took his cricketing kits, home and most of his family’s possessions. He and his family were however thankful for having no casualties.
It was this positive outlook that ultimately earned him a place on the National squad and the rest you know.