Coaches, city workers, coffee shop owners - all occupations of retired first-class cricketers. But David "Syd" Lawrence, once a fearsome fast bowler for England, has deviated somewhat in his second life.

Lawrence is still performing in public but has swapped cricket's 22-yards for the stages of the bodybuilding circuit. And now he his not judged by the accuracy of his deliveries but the definition of his muscles.

Lawrence's career was effectively ended by a harrowing knee injury in Wellington in 1992 and he admits the cruel turn of fate was tough to deal with for a long time after he had retired: "You can't look back - it just wasn't meant to be," he said.

But that competitive edge has never left him and he is now training harder than ever, with morning gym sessions completed before 9am and a diet that puts his food intake as a cricketer to shame.

"Even when I was playing cricket I was always in the gym," Lawrence told ESPNcricinfo. "People said I spent too much time in the gym. But I was probably ahead of my time, if you look at cricketers today, they spend a hell of a lot of time in the gym.

"If someone throws me the ball at half five on a hot day, that's physically hard work. It's very demanding. Fast bowling is one of the hardest things you can do. You have to be mentally very strong as well.

"But bodybuilding is pretty tough. Not just the training but to be in the best shape for competition is about 14 weeks of hard dieting. And that is mental pressure."

He has enjoyed success, becoming over-40s South West champion, over 20 years on from the end of his playing career.

Lawrence took 515 first-class wickets at 32.07 in just over a decade with Gloucestershire. "1985 was probably one of my best years," he said. "I opened the bowling with Courtney Walsh, we finished second in the Championship - and should have won it. The partnership between me and Courtney was frightening for so many people. They didn't want to play against us."

His England debut came in 1988 against Sri Lanka at Lord's but it would be three more years until he gained a run in the side. His 18 wickets across five Tests included dismissing Viv Richards for the final time in Test cricket - at The Oval in 1991.

Lawrence was one of a number of British West Indians in county cricket. But there has been a remarkable drop off in recent years. It is a concern for Lawrence: "There's a massive problem with English West Indian kids - they're just not interested in the game. And they have no role models. What we need is West Indians born in Britain to be able to fly the flag."

Alex Winter is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo He tweets here