It is not always easy to follow your passion, chase your dreams and make a career out of it. Many sportspersons have succeeded in doing so, and many have unfortunately failed, mainly due to a lack of proper resources and, in some cases, the government’s apathy.
Here’s a list of once-sports stars who quit playing and took up regular jobs to make ends meet. Take a look.
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1) Sri Lankan cricketers now bus drivers
Former Sri Lankan cricketers Suraj Randiv and Chinthaka Jayasinghe are now working as bus drivers in Melbourne, Australia.
Reportedly, the duo work for Transdev, which employs more than 1,200 workers and offers transport services to the city’s residents.
As per reports in 2022, Randiv, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) off-spinner, who was a part of Sri Lanka’s playing eleven in the 2011 World Cup final, has taken up the job of a bus driver in Australia to make ends meet after parting his way with the sport.
36-year-old Randiv has represented his country in 12 Tests, 31 ODIs, and 7 T20Is. He went to bag 43 wickets in Tests, 36 in ODIs, and 7 in the game’s shortest format.
42-year-old Chinthaka Jayasinghe has played five T20 matches for his country. He made his cricket debut against India in a T20 played in Nagpur in 2009 and was also part of the Sri Lankan team in the 2010 T20 World Cup.
2) Hockey player to a cobbler
Subhash Kumar, Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, an eight-time state hockey player, now repairs and polishes shoes rather than his hockey sticks. Kumar represented the state eight times but became a victim of government’s apathy as no support came from the authorities, even in tough times.
“My father has played with Indian hockey team captain Pargat Singh and Surjit Singh and represented Himachal team eight times. The state authorities turned a deaf ear towards him,” his unemployed son, Ashish Kumar, told India Today.
To provide for himself and his family, Kumar quit his sporting career in 2021 and took up the job to earn a living.
3) National Archer to a tea seller
National archer Deepti Kumari had been selling tea at her makeshift tea stall on the roadside in Ranchi to repay the loan taken by her mother for purchasing an archery kit for her. Now, she is jobless again as the municipal body removed her tea stall on Tuesday (7th Feb 2023) during preparations for the upcoming G20 meet.
Deepti says she will have to scratch to earn a livelihood and repay the loan.
Notably, Archer Deepti Kumari, who has won more than 100 medals in her career, has been selling tea in Ranchi to repay the loan taken by her mother from a Self Help Group for purchasing professional equipment for her.
Unfortunately, all her dreams were shattered as she had to quit archery after the bow, purchased from the loan amount, was broken, and she could not afford another one due to the poor financial condition of her family.
She had seen a ray of hope after money started pouring into her account from across the country after her ordeal was reported prominently in the media recently. Still, it was not enough to obtain new equipment for her. As of now, she is clueless about what to do next.
4) Boxer turns parking lot assistant job
23-year-old Ritu had a knack for boxing from her childhood; as a school student, she started to compete in several inter-school and state competitions.
She won medals in different competitions, but her journey ended abruptly when her father became bedridden in 2021.
Ritu dropped out of her school and decided to help her family. She took up the parking lot assistant job at Rs. 350 per day.
“I have to stand up for 12 hours and it is very difficult to make ends meet. I was offered a boxing kit by the Chandigarh Mayor, but that will not help my family. Even if I play, I will still be required to contribute to the family income,” Ritu told India Today.
5) Pak spinner now a taxi driver
Pakistan spinner Arshad Khan represented his country from 1998-2006. Arshad Khan had a bright start to his career as he bamboozled the batters with his spin. However, the off-spinner failed to live up to expectations and fell out of favour after he decided to join the now-defunct Indian Cricket League (ICL). Subsequently, Arshad Khan was forced to become a taxi driver.
☝️ 88 wickets in international cricket
🖐️ 5 for 38 in the Asian Test Championship 1999 final
🏅 Played a key role in 2005 Bangalore Test win, picking up two crucial wickets
🧢 Now serving the game as Pakistan women’s national team’s bowling coach
Happy Birthday, Arshad Khan! pic.twitter.com/Aby93kgnlA
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) March 22, 2021
According to a News18 report in 2015, a cricket fan from Sydney booked a taxi and to his surprise, the driver turned out to be Arshad Khan from Pakistan. The fan took to social media to share the story of the Pakistan veteran. The fan revealed that Arshad Khan was the driver of their cab and when they started chatting, he told him that he was from Pakistan and lived in Sydney.
6) Ex-Skipper of U’khand specially-abled cricket team doing manual labour
The former captain of the 34-year-old Uttarakhand specially-abled cricket team has to resort to manual labour to make ends meet. According to a New Indian Express report in 2020, Rajendra Singh Dhami is getting no help from the Government and, while earning his living, is also building his own team. Dhami has been training at least 19 specially-abled teenagers in the different disciplines of the game.
7) Football player now food delivery agent
Behala youth Poulomi Adhikary, who had previously played on an international and national level, had to put her football dreams on hold due to extreme poverty and injuries to her ligaments and cartilage, as per January 2023 report.
The 24-year-old has a new job with a food-delivery service, but she still finds time to play football after a 12-hour shift.
She is Polami Adhikary a football player who has represented India at the international level. Today she has to support her family as an online food delivery person. #football pic.twitter.com/pGnJ0QOUEg
— Sanjukta Choudhury (@SanjuktaChoudh5) January 10, 2023
“Being a girl and a cycle-user, I usually get short distance assignments, through which I can earn an average of Rs 20-30 per delivery,” said Poulomi in an interview with TOI.
Poulomi is in her third year as a BA student at Charuchandra College. She lost her mother when she was only two months old, and her aunt, Ashima Patra, raised her in Behala at her maternal uncle’s home. After midnight, she logs out for the night.
“Initially, I was frightened to work late at night but thank God, I have never faced anything untoward on the road,” she said.
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