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Top five sports career switches to inspire Yohan Blake

| 16.05.2014

Jamaican sprint ace Yohan Blake has revealed a desire to move his career in a new direction in the not too distant future.

The Beast is preparing to steal the limelight from his compatriot Usain Bolt in this weekend’s Diamond League meeting in Shanghai but is also eyeing a switch to the professional cricket ranks.

The 24-year-old, who is 6/1 second favourite to be crowned IAAF Athlete of the Year for 2014, has announced his desire to play cricket for Yorkshire after the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Talks with the cricket club are already underway so with his mind made up we list five other sporting career switches to inspire Blake ahead of the move.

Ian Botham – Football and Cricket


While the Nevilles ended their cricket dreams to play football, Beefy went the other way and reached the pinnacle in the 1981 Ashes with a string of dominant display against the Aussies.

However, he was able to fulfil both his dreams eventually, after signing with Scunthorpe United in a bid to regain his fitness.

While at the Iron, Botham impressed so much that he featured in 11 league games and went on to turn out for Yeovil, where he was called up to represent England in a FA XI of the best non-league players.

Michael Jordan – Basketball and Baseball


Arguably the most famous sportsman of all time rocked the NBA when retiring at the height of his powers in 1993.

In a bid to fulfil his father’s dream of seeing his son play the in MLB, MJ used his Chicago Bulls contract to sign for the city’s White Sox outfit.

While the six-time NBA championship and two-time Olympic gold medal winner failed to feature in a Major game he made a good fist of it at the Sox Minor League affiliates.

Jordan hit three home runs and maintained a decent batting average against some of the hottest prospects of the game, before eventually returning to the NBA and dominating for another decade.

Bixente Lizarazu – Football and Jiu-Jitsu


No-nonsense left back Lizarazu won everything worth winning in football.

The Frenchman lifted five Bundesligas, five DFB Pokal trophies and won the Champions League with Bayern Munich and also achieved the ultimate in landing a World Cup and European Championship with France.

He has since put his hard man image to good use and is highly-regarded in the world of Jiu-Jitsu after winning a 2009 European Championship.

Curtis Woodhouse – Football and Boxing


Most footballers fancy themselves in a scrap but while some wave their handbags, Woodhouse put his skills to the test by turning pro and heading into the ring.

After playing over 150 league games for the likes of Sheffield United, Birmingham City and Hull the midfielder swapped boots for gloves and showed his confidence with a £5,000 bet at 50/1 on him becoming British Champion.

This dream was realised in his last bout after a split decision over Darren Hamilton saw the belt strapped around his waste.

He has since retired, with an extra £250,000 in his back pocket!

Deion Sanders – American Football and Baseball


While MJ flirted with success in the MLB, Sanders outright took it on a date, went steady for a while and then married it.

A two-time Super Bowl winner with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, Sanders switched NFL for MLB to play outfield for the Yankees, Braves, Reds and Giants.

He was most successful in Atlanta though, playing in the 1992 World Series for the Braves, and remains the only man to have played in both the Super Bowl and the World Series.

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.