Ever since Indian shooters began their medal haul at the Olympics since the turn of the century, the popularity of the sport has seen a steady increase in the country.
And it doesn’t come as a surprise that cricketer Manoj Tiwary also hopes to take up the rifle once he’s done putting his cricketing kit to rest in the future.
“I want to try my hand at other sports where the [extensive] physical requirements like running are not required,” he told the Cow Corner Chronicles, a YouTube show.
“You might see me taking up 10m (Air) Rifle shooting [once I have retired] and have a go at the Olympics as well. It's something which I want to do,” added the right-handed batsman.
"But now the other responsibilities... are always there. It's not easy. Let's see how I take time out of my schedule and give some time to 10m Rifle shooting as well.”
The 34-year-old Manoj Tiwary has played cricket for Bengal from 2004 and has also represented India in 12 ODIs, apart from three T20Is.
He has also turned out for the Indian Premier League with sides like Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab.
The Bengal-born Manoj Tiwary, who’s played over 100 First-Class matches, isn’t the first one to ponder over the idea of dabbling two different sports in their career.
Excelling beyond cricket
Skeet shooter Mairaj Khan, who represented India at the 2016 Olympics, was a former cricketer who played in junior tournaments and brushed shoulders with Virender Sehwag, who later blazed in the international scene.
“I am a shooter but I am still attached to my first love cricket,” Mairaj Khan told the Times of India. “I still follow cricket.”
Another sporting icon from Bengal, Subimal ‘Chuni’ Goswami was also seen excelling at football and cricket during his playing days in the era gone by. The Indian football icon passed away to a cardiac arrest on April 30.
Outside India, the likes of Ashleigh Barty and Ellyse Perry of Australia, and South Africa's Jonty Rhodes are among the notable names to excel at different disciplines during their career.
While Barty is a celebrated tennis star who reached the numero uno position in the WTA rankings in 2019, she has also turned up for two franchises in the Women’s Big Bash League, a franchise-based T20 League, during her break from tennis in 2015-16.
Meanwhile, Ellyse Perry is an accomplished Aussie cricketer who’s also played for the national football team at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
South African Jonty Rhodes, meanwhile, was also a quality hockey player who played for the national side before cricket could become his sole priority.