Music is a passion that transcends boundaries. H Natarajan and Nishad Pai Vaidya pick cricketers who made serious forays into the world of music:


1. Don Bradman

The batting legend played the piano well. Having the musical instrument in the house he grew up in and a sister [Lilian] who was a piano teacher helped the Don’s musical pursuits. During the 1930 tour of England, he even recorded recorded in the Columbia Record Studios playing ‘Old Fashioned Locket’ and ‘Our Bungalow of Dreams’ as solo piano pieces. Later that year, D. Davis & Company released a 78- RPMrecord featuring a piece written for piano by Don Bradman called ‘Every Day is a Rainbow Day for Me’. At about the same time a best selling single called ‘Our Don Bradman’, ‘a snappy fox-trot song’ by Jack O’Hagan was as huge success across the length and breadth of the country, according to information available in The Bradman Trail.




2. Jeremy Coney

Listen to him speak on the microphone and you’d know that Jeremy Coney has something to do with music. The former New Zealand captain could play the double bass, guitar and the piano. Coney also went on to say that music had been a part of his life since childhood. Speaking to All Out Cricket, Coney had said, “Music was pivotal to my family. Of an evening, we’d roll back the carpets, Mum’d be singing, Dad whistling or playing the violin and we kids dance around. It was a genuinely wonderful childhood.”


He even did a bit of fun vocal with Sivamani while working as TV mediaperson during the IPL:



3. Richie Richardson and Curtly Ambrose

Curtly Ambrose, the fearsome West Indies fast bowler, shed that fearsome image post retirement as a cricketer to form a band along with former teammate and captain Richie Richardson and a few others. This band is called The Big Bad Dread and the Bald Head. While Ambrose plays the bass guitar, Richardson takes on the rhythm guitar.



4. Sanjay Manjrekar

The cricketer-turned-commentator has flair for singing. He had released an album called Rest Day after his playing days were behind him. A further recognition of his singing skills came when he was picked by a Bengali director to sing a song for his movie. Manjrekar told Anand Bazar Patrika, “I have always had an attraction for Bengali songs. I used to worship Kishore Kumar. I have heard a lot of his Hindi songs. Later on, was amazed to hear his Bengali songs.” Subsequently, he entertained fellow cricketers at an event in Mumbai.



5. Brett Lee, Shane Lee, Gavin Robertson, Brad McNamara and Richard Chee Quee

Brett Lee was the envy of every other man. Not only his cricketing skills, but his filmstar-like looks made him an instant heartthrob. Add to that, his singing and the guitar playing skills and you have a complete package. Along with four other former cricketers Shane Lee (his brother), Richard Chee Quee, Gavin Robertson and Brad McNamara, Lee formed a band called Six and Out. They had released a song called Can’t Bowl, Can’t Throw which was about the infamous Scott Muller-incident of 1999. This song made the top 100 in the ARIA chart. Lee’s association doesn’t end there. During a visit to India in 2006, he sang a duet with the great Asha Bhosle, which became quite a popular song.



6. Mark Butcher

When Ben Hollioake passed away in 2002, his Surrey teammate Mark Butcher sang You’re Never Gone at his funeral. This song was written by Butcher himself, who plays the guitar to back his singing skills. He now has a Mark Butcher Band, with four others. They released an album Songs of the Sun Horse.



7. Omari Banks

Omari Banks, the former West Indies all-rounder, used to perform with his father Bankie Banx as a child. His focus then shifted to cricket until he retired in 2012. Since then, Banks has gone on to transform himself into a reggae star. He released his first album called Move On.



8. Dwayne Bravo

The West Indian all-rounder has often shown his dancing skills during celebrations on the field. However, he also has a liking for singing. He already has sung a song with Beannie Man before releasing his own single Go Gyal Go!



9. Henry Olonga

Henry Olonga’s cricketing career came to a controversial end in 2003 after he protested against the Robert Mugabe regime during a World Cup game. Olonga was known for being multi-talented; post retirement he tried his hand at singing. Olonga sand a song called Hello Zimbabwe and also has an album to his credit.



10. AB de Villiers

There is nothing AB de Villiers cannot do on the field of play! He is also quite talented off it. In 2010, he had released an album called Maak Jou Drome Waar (Afrikaans: Make your dreams come true) along with Ampie du Preez. And, one of the songs also had de Villiers’ friend and South Africa teammate Faf du Plessis in its videos.



11. Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann was one of the more flamboyant characters in the England dressing room. Apart from a penchant to imitate people, Swann can also sing. He has been a part of the band called Dr Comfort and the Lurid Revelations.



12. Alastair Cook

The England Test captain had some musical ambitions as a child before he took to cricket at a young age. At the age of eight, his parents gifted him a clarinet. It was his music that took him to Bedford, where his love-affair with cricket began. In fact, as a young boy, Cook had recorded a song with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, a well-known opera singer.




13. Shantakumaran Sreesanth

In 2007, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth had released an album Jaago India. This was done in the lead-up to the World Cup. Sreesanth was a part of the Indian team for that tournament. Madhu Balakrishnan had sung the songs and they were written by Sreesanth. Sreesanth’s own band is called ‘S36-The Band’.



14. Frank Parr

The Lancashire wicketkeeper of the 1950s had a liking for jazz. He was part of Mick Mulligan’s Band.




15. Sunil Gavaskar

The legendary Indian opener had sung a song called “He jeevan mhanje cricket” (Marathi for: This life means cricket). Gavaskar tried his hand at other crafts; he even acted in a move called Premachi Saavli.



16. Andre Russell

If Bravo can do it, so can Andre Russell. The West Indies all-rounder also combined with Beanie Man to record a song called Sweat Whine in 2014. Don’t try to search for the song using Russell’s full name. For his particular number, he is called Dre Russ.



(H Natarajan is a journalistic schizophrenic who oscillates between two polar opposite forms of writing — analytical and insightful on the one hand, and rib-tickling humour on the other. Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)