Second Innings

Players on their careers and hobbies outside cricket

Fanie de Villiers

Talk a good game

After cricket, South Africa's metronome took up public speaking and got into the hydraulics business

Text size: A | A
Fanie De Villiers at a practice session, 1 February 28, 1996
"If you are humble enough about your achievements, it helps you in developing business relationships and helping people grow" © Getty Images
Related Links
Players/Officials: Fanie de Villiers
Teams: South Africa

I was lucky enough to have been able to join the TV commentary team and a cricket television show while I was playing. So I walked out of cricket straight into another job related to the game. Steadily I started to get invites from the corporate sector as a speaker, for which I was paid handsomely. Over the years I became involved with a company in hydraulics that services the mining industry. Those two are my breadwinners now: the hydraulics firm for the past six years and guest speaker for 11.

I have a teaching diploma too, but I never really got into that profession. Still, my education helped me in dealing with clients, developing relationships, enhancing my communication skills and marketing myself better. I see a lot of youngsters who start playing professional cricket at an early age and do not go to university. They really can't express themselves, and they end up missing out on a lot of opportunities.

Having played cricket has been a big help in my new jobs. If you are humble enough as a person and humble about your achievements, you can play a huge role in helping people grow.

Another advantage is, I can reach the top strata of a company straightaway, just by using my name. I don't need to go through the usual line-up of senior managers and directors. Every single day, every single job I've done, people recognise me easily.

Also, I learned when leaving cricket and going into proper business that one can't stagnate. There is much more strategy involved in business, much more communication, many more skills involved in handling yourself and working out strategies, working out visions.

I'm better off with this job than playing cricket. You've got a normal lifestyle, time to enjoy your hobbies, your family and friends, and the money you make. You've got more time to spend with your kids at their sport.

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

. Your ESPN name '' will be used to display your comments. Please click here to edit this.
Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in Second Innings
  • Make a splash
    Before he took up cricket as a career, Jehan Mubarak swam and played water polo
  • Pig hooey
    Got a gun? Want to hunt beasts? This New Zealand batsman could give you some tips on how to
  • Teach what you play
    It isn't easy to juggle two careers. But there are rewards, even if your students aren't impressed with your dancing style
  • My word
    Pouring outside? Stuck on an endless flight? If you're Jackers, you flip the newspaper open to the crossword page
  • The long arm
    Spinner turned legal eagle
RSS FeedAll
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet