Many cricketers have formed music bands and have released their albums

 

By Dileep V 

 

Music happens to be an art form that transcends languageHerbie Hancock

 

The life of a modern cricketer is very demanding — not just from the rigours of play but also from all the travelling. Often one finds cricketers coming out of their hotel rooms, entering the team bus, taking a flight with their ear plugs on. Yes, music is their biggest solace. And those who understand the power of music will vouch for the fact that it banishes the blues, de-stresses the mind and keeps one in a relaxed frame of mind, all of which will help in the on-field performances.

 

And then there is another breed of cricketers who have taken music to a higher level by elevating themselves from a passive listener to an active participant – be it giving expression to their vocal or belting our various forms of musical instruments. In fact, some have gone on to form professional bands and/or cut music records.

 

West Indies and Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is the latest entrant in the club of cricketers who are also musicians. Bravo, in tandem with Jamaican dancehall superstar Beenie Man featuring Guyanese-born Timeka Marshall, released his debut album ‘Beenie Man & Bravo’ on July 28 this year.

 

Talking about the album Bravo said, “It has been burning up the airwaves. I have been getting great feedback. I released it through Mad Men Productions and within five minutes of the release my phone started going off the hook with good feedback. There would be negative feedback as well, but it is all in the game. You would get it in music, sports and anything that one would do but I am not going to make this my career but have it as a hobby.”

 

Bravo revealed that there are other musicians in the West Indies team — Brother Darren Bravo and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn — who regularly play with him. Bravo also said that later this month Beenie Man will fly in for them to start shooting a music video for the hit. He said he plans to take his music to India, Sri Lanka and Australia.

 

Coming from the land of Bob Marley, calypso and reggae — Curtly Ambrose and Richie Richardson had a flair for music in-built in their souls. They are part of an Antiguan reggae band The Big Bad Dread and the Baldhead. 

 

Brett Lee is a known face of cricketers-turned-musicians. He is part of the rock band Six & Out, featuring former Australian cricketers Gavin Robertson and Shane Lee. In 2006 he also recorded a duet — called You’re the One — with the legendary Asha Bhonsle as part of her album Asha and Friends.

 

Lee, who plays bass guitar for his band, is quite serious about his music. “I’ve always joked that I was a musician who used his sport to prop himself up,” Lee was quoted as saying recently. His new band White Shoe Theory has toured countries doing live shows.

 

The legendary batsman Sir Donald Bradman was also a known Piano player. Bradman recorded several songs on piano in the early 1930s, including the hit “Every Day Is A Rainbow Day For Me“.

 

England cricketer Mark Butcher has also received rave reviews for his music talent. Butcher, a guitarist and singer, has performed at the Royal Albert Hall. Butcher also wrote a song You’re Never Gone as a tribute to former teammate Ben Hollioake’s and also played at his funeral. 

 

Graeme Swann when not busy troubling the batsmen, takes to his passion of singing. Swann is the lead singer of the rock band Dr Comfort and the Lurid Revelations, which plays cover songs in gigs around Nottinghamshire.

 

The latest entrant is the South African AB de Villiers, who collaborated with Ampie du Preez and produced the single Show Them Who You Are in 2010. His songs “Show Them Who You Are” and “Maak Jou Drome Waar” got accolades and also sufficient airtime on radio.

 

India’s has its very own set of cricketer-turned-musicians, though its far and few in between. Indian cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar had sung a Marathi song “Ya duniye madhye thambayaala vel konala” which was written by noted Marathi lyricist Shantaram Nandgaonkar. The song depicted the similarities between a cricket match and real life. But his business duties meant he couldn’t give much time to his other passion. 

 

Sanjay Manjrekar recorded an Indi-Pop song called Rest Day a few years ago, after that his music career never took off. 

 

Shantakumaran Sreesanth has his own band ‘S36-The Band’. The band derives its name from the first letter of the cricketer’s name followed by his lucky jersey number. Sreesanth, in fact, had launched a video album “Jaago India” to motivate team India ahead of the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. Sreesanth has himself penned the songs which are sung by his brother-in-law Madhu Balakrishnan.

(Dileep.V is a Scouser fan, Sports freak, Movie buff, Laggard Quizzer and dreams of setting foot on Anfield one day)