What’s the Story?
Former Sri Lankan leg-spinner, over the years, was renowned for bamboozling batsman by extracting fair amount of turn from the wickets. However, this time round his career experienced a turn and currently he owns a cricket shop by the name of ‘Chandana Sports Shop’.
In a recent interaction with the media, Chandana mentioned how the Indian Cricket League influenced his decision. “It was a stupid decision. The next year, they started the IPL, and they still owe me 60,000 USD. “There are so many cricket clubs around and there weren’t too many good sports stores in the locality. So I thought I’ll start one. People don’t spot it easily. Only if you come inside the club will you notice it”- he said
The former leggie also referred to his childhood dream of opening a sports shop. “In my childhood in Galle, we played with one ball for months. There was no sports store and we had little money. Even the schools couldn’t afford it. The first time I held a cricket ball, my fingers almost went inside the ball. It was almost two separate pieces. So I decided one day when I grow up I’d open a sports store,”- he added
In case you didn’t know…
During his playing days, Upul Chandana was a prolific wicket taker for Sri Lanka, especially in One Day Internationals, where he picked up 151 wickets in 147 matches.
Coming lower down the order, he was also no mug with the bat as he scored runs at an average of 17.30 that included a highest score of 89 against the West Indies in 2003.
Way back in August 2009, Chandana’s Sports Shop was launched, which is located inside the Nondescripts Club. Apart from cricket goods, the shop also sells jogging shoes, table tennis rackets and tennis balls.
Parallels from history…
In the past, there has been several instances when cricketers have taken up a new profession to earn a living.
Former Pakistani off-spinner Arshad Khan drives Uber Cab in Sydney. Former New Zealand all-rounder has resorted to driving trucks and cleaning bus shelters for $17 an hour in order to support his family.
Unlike a general profession where the retirement age is 60, cricket is a bit different as it’s a physically rigorous sport. Most cricketers start to plan about retiring from the game when they reach their mid-30s as they start feeling the strain in their body.
On the other hand, they also ponder about the next course of action they will be taking in order to earn money after they bid adieu to cricket. While it’s disappointing to see Chandana being owed a substantial amount, it’s also heartwarming to see him carry on his association with sports and pursuing his childhood dream.