Multi-talented: Cricketers Who Could’ve Had Successful Football Careers

Alexander Ford
Alexander Ford
Alexander Ford
Contributor

Some individuals are so talented at sports that they have the luxury of being able to pick which one they would like to take up professionally.

There have been a few instances where an athlete has turned to a career outside of sport altogether, for example, with many footballers deciding to take up gambling after their playing days – it’s not recommended.

However, in the modern game, it is unlikely to find a lot of professional sportsmen convert from one game to another, although back in the past, plenty had decided to make the switch.

Here we look at the game of cricket and look at who has made the switch from a pair of football boots to a set of cricket whites.

1. Denis and Leslie Compton

The famous brothers both represented Middlesex CCC in the hardball game, whilst they both featured for Arsenal, not long before and after the Second World War.

Denis was considered the better cricketer, having been selected for England, where he made 78 Test match appearances and scored 17 hundreds in that time. His grandson, Nick, has also followed in his footsteps and plays for Middlesex as well.

However, Leslie was widely regarded as a better footballer and is still one of the longest-serving players for the Gunners in their illustrious history. He made history yet again with the national side when he made his debut at the age of 38.

2. Sir Viv Richards

The legendary West Indian cricketer could have quite easily chosen a different career path, however, he stuck to the bat-and-ball game from an early age.

He is the only sportsman in history to have represented his country in both a World Cup for cricket and football, having represented Antigua and Barbuda in the qualifiers for the 1974 World Cup.

3. Sir Ian Botham

Many could argue the greatest English cricketer to have ever played the game, ‘Beefy’ could have excelled with a career in football.

The icon made 11 appearances for lowly Scunthorpe United in 1980 as a centre-back, and with the belief that he could go further in the game, he chose to stick with the pads.

4. Ellyse Perry

Sir Viv Richards may have been the only sportsman to have played in World Cups in both forms of the game, however, he has a female counterpart who has done the same, in the modern day.

Ellyse Perry has, somehow, managed to balance both her careers perfectly and has no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Why should she, when you consider all the achievements she has had for her international sides.

In cricket, she has won the World T20 twice, and an ICC Women’s World Cup, whilst her football career has seen her participate in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011, where she scored a beauty of a goal against Sweden.

5. Joe Gatting

The surname maybe more synonymous with Mike, a legendary batsman and captain of Middlesex CCC and England, and you would be correct, as Joe is his nephew.

Joe’s father Steve played football for Brighton and Hove Albion, which led to the youngster to try his hand and made 44 appearances as a striker.

However, in 2009, he made the switch to his uncle’s game and joined him at Sussex; he is still currently in the game, turning the scoreboard over with Hampshire.

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