10 Cricketers Who Owns Restaurants
Cricket holds immense popularity in subcontinent countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, making cricketers the highest-earning athletes in their respective nations. The combination of wealth and fame enables these players to easily pursue their dreams. Interestingly, some cricketers with a strong passion for food have ventured into the restaurant industry, catering to fellow food enthusiasts.
In the past, cricket legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Virender Sehwag dabbled in the restaurant business as a source of income. However, despite their initial popularity, their ventures eventually faced challenges and dwindled over time. While their restaurants initially attracted large crowds due to their fame, the businesses gradually lost their appeal and struggled.
More recently, additional cricketers have also ventured into the restaurant business. Unlike their predecessors, many of them are finding success in this new endeavor. Cricket fans who also share a love for food have shown their support for these cricketer-owned restaurants, leading to their positive reception and growth in the industry.
1. Shakib Al Hasan – Shakib's 75 (Dhaka)
Shakib Al Hasan is widely regarded as Bangladesh's most accomplished cricketer due to his significant contributions across all formats of the game. Throughout his 17-year cricketing career, he has garnered a devoted following who have supported him through various challenges.
In 2015, Shakib ventured into the hospitality industry by opening a cricket-themed sports lounge named "Shakib's 75" in Dhaka. This establishment is a haven for passionate food enthusiasts. The restaurant's ambiance, overseen by Shakib's wife Umme Ahmed Shishir, features an exquisite design inspired by cricket. The wooden walls are adorned with intricately crafted depictions of iconic cricket stadiums.
For devoted fans of Shakib, the sports lounge offers collectibles such as T-shirts from his Bangladesh and KKR (Kolkata Knight Riders) days, as well as cricket memorabilia like stumps and balls from significant events such as the World Cup, T20 World Cup, and the Indian Premier League (IPL). The restaurant's menu is thoughtfully curated to reflect the culinary preferences of the esteemed Bangladesh cricket legend.
2. Shoaib Malik – The Rice Bowl (Lahore)
Shoaib Malik, a seasoned Pakistani cricketer renowned for his impressive batting skills, has left a lasting mark on international cricket since his debut in 1999. With his exceptional contributions to the Pakistan cricket team, he has gained both recognition and financial success. In January 2022, he ventured into the restaurant business.
The charismatic player inaugurated a restaurant named 'The Rice Bowl' in an upscale area of Lahore. The restaurant's grand opening was attended by his former teammates Inzamam-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Waqar Younis, and Wahab Riaz. Additionally, current Pakistan cricket stars Babar Azam and Hasan Ali were present at the launch event of Malik's eatery.
An unexpected and delightful appearance at Malik's restaurant was made by the legendary singer, Atif Aslam. Aslam paid a surprise visit to the cricketer's establishment. Expressing his gratitude, Malik took to Twitter to thank Atif for attending the restaurant's opening ceremony, writing, "What a lovely surprise it was @itsaadee to see you pop out of the blue at the launch of #RiceBowl earlier today. Sir tussi great ho, love you." The convergence of these prominent figures added to the celebration of the restaurant's inauguration.
3. Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene – Ministry of Crab (Colombo)
Sri Lankan cricket legends Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene made significant contributions to their national cricket team during their illustrious playing careers. Their remarkable partnership of 624 runs in a Test match against South Africa in 2006 remains the highest in the longest format of the game. After Sri Lanka's disappointing performance in the 2015 World Cup, both players retired from international cricket.
In December 2011, Jayawardene and Sangakkara teamed up with renowned Sri Lankan chef Dharshan Munidasa to establish their culinary venture, the Ministry of Crab (MOC), located in Colombo. The restaurant is dedicated to promoting and celebrating Sri Lanka's seafood delicacies. Expanding its horizons, MOC entered the Indian market with the launch of its Mumbai outlet in 2019.
MOC has successfully extended its presence to seven cities around the world. In addition to Colombo and Mumbai, MOC delights food enthusiasts in Maldives, Bangkok, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Manila. The restaurant's global reach showcases its commitment to offering delectable seafood experiences to connoisseurs across diverse locations.
4. Kapil Dev – Elevens (Patna)
Kapil Dev has played a pivotal role in the growth of Indian cricket. Notably, he led the Indian team to victory in the 1983 World Cup in England, securing the nation's first-ever World Cup trophy. After a distinguished 16-year career, he retired from international cricket in 1994, having made significant contributions to Indian cricket.
Post his retirement, Kapil Dev has been involved in coaching, commentary, and currently, he is an active cricket expert for a popular news channel. In addition to his media engagements, he is also the proprietor of Elevens, a cricket-themed restaurant located in Patna. Established by the former Indian cricket captain in 2008, the restaurant offers a delightful blend of Indian, Pan-Asian, and continental cuisines. The establishment boasts an elegant bar and lounge area, making it an ideal choice for family gatherings and a beloved dining destination in Patna.
5. Zaheer Khan – Dine Fine and The Sports Lounge (Pune)
Former Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan has been active in the hospitality industry since 2005. He made his entry into this field by launching ZK's Dine Fine in Pune. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining experiences to its patrons. In 2013, Zaheer Khan expanded his restaurant business by introducing Toss Sports Lounge in Pune.
Toss Sports Lounge is a sports-themed restaurant that particularly draws sports enthusiasts during major events like Cricket World Cups, FIFA World Cups, IPL, UEFA Champions League, Wimbledon, and more. The establishment has gained recognition for its diverse culinary offerings, including tandoori, continental, and oriental dishes.
The restaurant is an ideal destination for groups of friends looking to unwind and enjoy quality food along with drinks. Zaheer Khan, who represented India from 2000 to 2014, had a remarkable international cricket career, amassing 610 wickets across 309 matches. Notably, during the 2011 World Cup, he clinched 21 wickets in nine matches, sharing the title of joint-leading wicket-taker with Pakistan's Shahid Afridi.
6. Suresh Raina – Raina Indian Restaurant (Amsterdam)
Suresh Raina dedicated his talents to the Indian cricket team from 2005 to 2018, where he primarily played as a middle-order batsman. His remarkable career saw him contribute significantly to the team's success. After a gap of over two years from international cricket, he announced his retirement from the format in August 2020, alongside former Indian skipper MS Dhoni.
In the present time, Raina has ventured into the role of a commentator in major T20 leagues. However, in June 2023, he embarked on a new journey by launching his restaurant, Raina Indian Restaurant, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. During the restaurant's opening, Raina expressed his dual passion for cricket and food.
He shared that opening this restaurant marked the realization of a long-held dream. The establishment, owned by the iconic player, offers a delectable array of Indian dishes, including favorites like hot samosas, dahi bhalla, pani puri, soups, jeera rice, and vegetable biryani, among others. This restaurant venture reflects Raina's enthusiasm for both cricket and culinary delights.
7. Shikhar Dhawan – The Flying Catch (Dubai)
Renowned Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan is celebrated for his aggressive batting style in international cricket. Over the course of his 13-year career, the left-handed batsman has been instrumental in securing numerous victories for the team with his remarkable batting prowess. Presently, he finds himself out of the team due to his less impressive performances in recent times.
In 2023, Shikhar embarked on a new venture by establishing a sports cafe in Dubai, named 'The Flying Catch.' The restaurant's name draws inspiration from some of the impressive catches Dhawan has taken on the field. The focus of Shikhar's establishment is to attract individuals with a health-conscious lifestyle and offer them nutritious dining options. The Indian community in Dubai has shown immense support and love for the eatery owned by the illustrious Indian cricketer.
In addition to serving delectable cuisine, the restaurant provides a vibrant ambiance for sports enthusiasts to gather and enjoy watching matches from top global sporting events. For those who prioritize health and have a passion for sports, Shikhar's restaurant stands as an ideal destination to indulge in perfect snacks, while also spending quality time in a sports-centric atmosphere.
8. Ravindra Jadeja – Jaddu’s Food Field (Rajkot)
Ravindra Jadeja holds a significant role in the Indian cricket team due to his remarkable all-round abilities. He marked his international debut in February 2009 and has since then participated in more than 300 matches across various formats of the game. In addition to his cricketing endeavors, Jadeja is also a businessman and operates a restaurant in Rajkot.
Three years after his international debut, the dynamic all-rounder launched his restaurant named 'Jaddu’s Food Field' in December 2012. This multicuisine eatery has gained popularity among cricket enthusiasts in Rajkot. In 2017, the restaurant faced a setback when the Rajkot Municipal Corporation conducted a raid, uncovering a significant amount of stale food.
However, following the incident, the restaurant underwent a complete overhaul and is currently operating smoothly. In a 2018 interview with Sportstar, Naina Jadeja, Ravindra Jadeja's sister, shared that whenever the Indian all-rounder delivers an exceptional performance in matches, patrons are treated to complimentary desserts. This gesture reflects the restaurant's connection with Jadeja's on-field achievements and adds to its appeal among fans.
9. MS Dhoni – Shaka Harry (Bangalore)
MS Dhoni is widely revered and respected by numerous cricket enthusiasts for his unparalleled contributions to the sport. Throughout his tenure with the Indian cricket team from 2004 to 2019, Dhoni left an indelible mark through his adept batting, wicketkeeping, and leadership skills. In August 2020, he bid farewell to his cricketing career after dedicating over 15 years to the game.
Despite being in his 40s, Dhoni maintains an active involvement in cricket as a prominent figure in the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) team within the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL). In December 2022, Shaka Harry commenced its operations in India by launching its inaugural outlet at the Bangalore airport, aiming to promote veganism. Notably, the restaurant gained Dhoni's endorsement as the former Indian captain invested in this plant-based food venture.
Dhoni's immense popularity has significantly contributed to Shaka Harry's success, attracting a substantial number of customers in India. Many travelers passing through the Bangalore airport are drawn to the restaurant to relish its offerings of delectable plant-based meat alternatives. The association with Dhoni has undoubtedly boosted the restaurant's appeal and impact within the realm of vegan cuisine.
10. Virat Kohli – One8 Commune (Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai)
Virat Kohli's remarkable contributions to Indian cricket over his 15-year international career have been widely celebrated. Beyond his accomplishments in cricket, the batting maestro has also ventured into the culinary world with his chain of restaurants, known as One8 Commune. In 2022, One8 Commune introduced its inaugural restaurant in Mumbai, situated within the iconic Kishore Kumar's bungalow in Juhu.
The renowned restaurant brand has established its presence in various prominent cities including Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai. One8 Commune caters perfectly to vegetarian preferences, offering an array of delectable vegetarian dishes paired with a selection of beverages. Guests at the restaurant can indulge in a diverse range of global cuisines, promising a rich and varied dining experience.
Virat Kohli has articulated his culinary vision for One8 Commune, emphasizing a commitment to experimenting with greens and grains to craft dishes that not only prioritize health and lightness but also boast bold and robust flavors. The restaurant's concept revolves around "good for the soul" cooking, emphasizing both wholesomeness and a gourmet experience. The menu is thoughtfully curated to be vegetarian-friendly, presenting refined plates inspired by global culinary influences. Through One8 Commune, Kohli extends his passion for excellence from the cricket pitch to the realm of culinary artistry.