Navjot Singh Sidhu: Maverick on and off the field

Navjot Singh Sidhu has had a diverse career in the media spotlight and donned numerous hats from a cricketer, commentator, TV show guest/host and finally a politician. Like a swashbuckling batsman, there doesn’t seem to be a dull moment in his political life. He sent a googly to the BJP when he quit the Raja Sabha and now there are speculations that he will join the the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Born in Patiala to a cricketer father, Bhagwant, Navjot took up cricket and made his debut in 1983 at the age of 20 against West Indies and scored 19 runs.

Watch | Navjot Singh Sidhu Quits Rajya Sabha: What Next

 

Sidhu’s first brush with fame at an international arena came in the 1987 World Cup where he scored four fifties in five matches. Sidhu gradually progressed in his career with his explosive hitting and earned the nickname “Sixer Sidhu” for his big hitting from the opening slot.

Sidhu brought his cricketing career to a close in 1999 after amassing more than 7,000 runs in Tests and ODIs with 15 hundred’s and 48 fifties coming in the process.

 

Two years later, Sidhu took up commentary when India toured Sri Lanka. He became popular for his one-liners and metaphors that continue till date. He was, however, sacked by ESPN-Star Sports for swearing on air and jumped ship to Ten Sports.

Now he’s back with Star Sports and does broadcast commentary in Hindi for the channel.

WATCH VIDEO:Keystrokes: Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Reverse Sweep

 

Alongside his commentary stints, Sidhu has worked on TV, most notably with Great Indian Laughter Challenge – a reality show for stand-up comedians and then Comedy Nights with Kapil. Sidhu was also part of Bigg Boss 6 but had to drop out due to political reasons.

The flashy batsman won the Amritsar elections in 2004 on a BJP ticket. He was made to resign due to a court case against him but returned to win the elections in 2009.

His ties with the BJP took a turn for the worst when the party fielded Arun Jaitley in 2014 from Amritsar, a constituency he had been representing. But after keeping him to the margins for over two years, BJP sent him to the Rajya Sabha in April this year. Now that he has resigned from the Upper House, there are reports that he will most likely join the Aam Aadmi Party.

Sidhu was arrested in 1991 for an assault and causing death for which he was lodged in Patiala jail. The batsman claimed he was being falsely implicated. His problems escalated in 2006 when he was found guilty and handed a three-year prison term for culpable homicide following the road rage incident.

He appealed the verdict in 2007 to the Supreme Court. The SC stayed his conviction permitting him to continue his political and TV career.

By William Regal

Used to think I was a tad indecisive, but now I’m not quite sure.

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