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Six sportspersons who switched sports and made their mark!

Sports have a way of producing inspiring tales of success, with instances that showcase determination of the athletes and encourage millions of young people to follow their dreams. The latest Wimbledon champion, Ashleigh Barty, enthralled the fans with a scintillating display on Centre Court on July 10th and was deservingly acknowledged for her exploits by the world media.

However, not many people know, Barty has been a professional cricketer and even competed in the Women's Big Bash League, one of the premier T20 tournaments across the globe.

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Plying her trade for the Brisbane Heat, she juggled between a professional career in cricket and tennis. Despite not having plenty of experience or formal training in cricket, she made her debut for the Brisbane Heat in the 2015 edition of the WBBL. 

While it is a dream to don the national jersey for most sportspersons and compete at an international level, there are a few players who have excelled in multiple sports and switched loyalties, albeit for various reasons.

Let us take a look at six of such players who featured in two sports at the highest level.

Tim Seifert - Hockey

Competitive sport was always an integral part of our Knight Tim Seifert's childhood. The wicket-keeper started his career as a professional hockey player and even represented the national side in the Under-18 tournament before switching to cricket on a full-time basis.

Ellyse Perry - Football

One of the premier all-rounders in the women's circuit, Ellyse Perry, made her international debut in cricket and football at the age of 16. She is the first player to feature in the ICC and FIFA World Cups for Australia. In 2014, Perry chose cricket as her full-time career option and focused her attention on improving her game and winning matches for Australia.

Yuzvendra Chahal - Chess

Yuzvendra Chahal first competed at the international level after representing India in the World Youth Chess Championship. He played professional chess from 1997 to 2003 before switching to cricket. The leg-spinner is currently a regular feature in the white-ball format of the Indian team.

Subimal Goswami - Football

Subimal Goswami, popularly known as Chuni Goswami, was the captain of the Indian national football team and his club Mohun Bagan. He represented the Indian side in 1960 for the Summer Olympic Games and led them to a gold medal win at the 1962 Asian Games.

After a successful football career where he made 50 international appearances, he focussed his attention on a slightly different field, albeit the same colour. He made his debut for Bengal in first-class cricket during the 1962-1963 season.

The all-rounder was instrumental in helping Bengal feature in two finals of the Ranji Trophy. He played 46 first-class matches, scoring 1,592 runs with one century and seven fifties, and scalped 47 wickets with his right-arm medium pace.

Viv Richards - Football 

One of the legends of the game, Viv Richards, represented Antigua and Barbuda in the qualifiers for the 1974 World Cup in football. While his football career did not go well, he was an integral part of the West Indian World Cup winning squads in 1975 and 1979.  

Suzie Bates - Basketball

The former skipper of the White Ferns side, Suzie Bates, represented the national side in the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing. After switching her loyalties to cricket, the right-handed batter has been one of the most prolific performers for the New Zealand side in the past decade.

Watch Bates' journey:

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The 33-year old won the ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year award in 2013 and followed it up with the ICC Women's ODI and T20I Cricketer of the Year in 2016.