The 7 Current Cricketers Most Likely to Go into the Commentary Box
When a sportsman's career comes to an end, there are two well-trodden paths to follow.
One option is to give something back to the game and work as a coach, dedicating your life to the improvement of others and essentially ensuring the survival of the sport.
The other is to join the media.
Indeed, one of the perks of being the England cricket captain is that once you put down your pads for the last time, you are guaranteed a lucrative spot behind a microphone or at the very least a newspaper column.
In fact, the Sky Sports team is almost an England captains' graveyard.
Here are the seven current players, based on their personality and interviews, who are most likely to secure a career in the media.
7: Darren Sammy
As well as producing a conveyor belt of easy-on-the-eye run machines and languid-but-deadly pace merchants, the West Indies has provided a number of idiosyncratic commentators over the years.
Next in line is surely Darren Sammy, the current skipper of the Caribbean Islanders.
Although his statistics alone aren't outstanding, the all-rounder has provided strong leadership to unite his team in the face of inter-island politics and a gradual talent decline.
Off the pitch, as per his interview with Alison Mitchell on espncricinfo, the St Lucian comes over as affable, knowledgeable and honest.
6: Ed Cowan
At the start of the 2013 English summer, Ed Cowan's place at the top of the Australian batting order seemed to be secure.
However, after one change of coach and an inauspicious match at Trent Bridge, the Tasmanian found himself carrying more drinks than an Oktoberfest waitress.
Despite this blip, Cowan remains one of the game's thinkers and has already had a book, charting a season in state cricket, published.
If the Aussie can refloat his currently-shipwrecked career, then expect him to be much in demand once his whites have been discarded.
5: Kumar Sangakkara
As the captain of his country for 15 Tests, the wicketkeeper-cum-batsman has plenty of experience handling the media and it would be a surprise if his intelligent views don't find a home on Test Match Special when England play Sri Lanka.
4: Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook handles interviews like he bats against the likes of a rampant Dale Steyn or a Brett Lee steaming in to bowl.
Defending impeccably anything that is mildly threatening while smashing all the easy team-propaganda long hops to the boundary, it's hard to tell if England are winning or losing.
It is these finely-tuned media skills that will surely see him join his predecessors David Gower, Ian Botham, Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussain in the Sky Sports commentary box when he has finally finished shattering all of England's batting records.
3: Michael Clarke
In the cauldron of the 2013 Ashes, Michael Clarke won plaudits for his performances on and off the field.
With the bat, the Aussie skipper topped his side's batting averages with 381 runs at 47.62, which included a huge century at Old Trafford.
And in front of the relentless TV cameras and microphones, the elegant strokemaker remained magnanimous in the face of defeat and contentious incidents.
Like in England, most Baggy Green captains tend to have a prime seat in the commentary box waiting for them and Clarke's fast-track ticket to the Channel 9 booth seems inevitable.
2: Graeme Swann
Rent-a-quip Graeme Swann never shies away from the microphone and is surely destined for a role in the cosy Sky Sports commentary box when his playing days are over.
Whether mocking his England teammates or making sensible points about the game, the witty slow bowler is clearly comfortable in front of the camera.
With spinners often carrying on into their late 30s and even early 40s, it could be a while before the 34-year-old is brightening up rain delays with his impression of David Lloyd and others.
1: Kevin Pietersen
As reported in the Daily Mail, it would be no surprise if Kevin Pietersen walks into a media spot as soon as his career ends.
During the South African's self-inflicted absence from the England team due to "Text-gate", the batsman sowed some seeds for the future by doing a spell of commentary for the ICC T20 World Cup which was warmly regarded.
Additionally, during the 2013 Ashes, a batting masterclass on Sky Sports was also very well-received with KP receiving high praise for his insights.
With his perceived arrogance making Pietersen one of those must-watch personalities for fans and haters alike, the TV companies will be queuing up to sign England's top run scorer across all formats.
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