I personally feel gone are the days wherein most people had a good career, a permanent job, and a decent pay packet. At present, the biggest risk seems to be ever increasing pool of potential employees and advancing age, by the time we hit the 40s, we become financially less viable in many sectors; this over-rides the experience that one has accumulated.
When it comes to academics vs sports, the crucial factor in the inborn talent and aptitude for it. Some people are gifted, some learning and excel quickly when compared to others. This would be obvious during the teens/UG level.
The second factor is the support one receives in terms of pursuing one's dream in sports or academics. For instance, rifle shooting/tennis needs good infrastructure and often we have to choose private institutes and the financial costs to parents and individuals is quite high.
Thirdly, the chances or lack of chances for young upstarts to build their career. IPL is a rage in India, if you look at the pre-IPL and IPL eras, the avenues for the budding cricketers to showcase their talent and earnings are obviously different.
Lastly, the shelf-life or years of productivity. Obviously, a career in sports is not a lifetime job. After a few years, age, injuries, etc begin to catch up. One has to change over to a coach, advisory, commentator, etc.
So, one has to view the choice based on a few key factors, on balance a career in academics with potential global employment would be a better choice for upcoming youngsters.