In my opinion playing for your Country should be the highest honour,
whatever the sport.
Well, at least in India, the most talented folks always go for a private sector job as it pays way more than a government job. I don't think there's even one Indian CPian who's employed by the Govt. of India.
Yes ok, but that is different as individuals are obviously going to go for more money, to support their family etc. In Football a player averages £120,000 a week, whereas the average wage is something like £30,000 a year.
Footballers do not need to worry about money and as such should represent their country. Although with Cricket I doubt they are on such huge sums.