Navjot Singh Sidhu Biography, Politics, Family, Net Worth, Awards And More!
Navjot Singh Sidhu (born 20 October 1963) is an Indian politician, television personality and former cricketer. He currently serves as the Minister of Local Government, Tourism, Cultural Affairs, Archives and Museums of the State of Punjab.
As a professional cricketer, Sidhu had a career spanning over 19 years after his first-class debut in 1981–82. After losing his place in
the national team after his international debut in 1983–84, Sidhu returned to score four half-centuries in the 1987 World Cup. Playing mostly as a top-order batsman, Sidhu went on to play in 51 Tests and 136 One Day Internationals for the country. He came to be known for his six-hitting ability and earned the sobriquet ‘Sixer Sidhu’. After retirement, he turned to commentary and television, most notably as a judge of comedy shows, and as a permanent guest in Comedy Nights with Kapil (2013–15) and later The Kapil Sharma Show (since 2016). He was a contestant in the reality television show Bigg Boss (2012).
Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Biography
Sidhu was born in a Jat Sikh family of Sidhu gotra in Patiala, in the Indian state of Punjab. His father, Sardar Bhagwant Singh was a decent cricket player and wanted to see his son Navjot as a top-class cricketer. Sidhu is an alumnus of Yadavindra Public School, Patiala. He briefly studied in Mumbai at HR College of Commerce and Economics. Sidhu was elected to the Lok Sabha as the member from Amritsar in 2004 on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket; he later resigned, following his conviction.
After the Supreme Court stayed his conviction, he successfully contested the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, defeating his Congress rival, State Finance Minister Surinder Singla, by 77,626 votes. He is also the present president of World Jat Aryan Foundation. He is a vegetarian. He is married to Navjot Kaur Sidhu a doctor and a former member of Punjab Legislative Assembly. The couple has two children: daughter Rabia and son Karan.
Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Cricketing Career
Navjot Singh Sidhu International cricket career lasted from 1983 until 1999. He made his Test match debut in 1983 against the West Indies at Ahmedabad, and scored 19 runs.In 1990 he was out for no wicket. He played the next match, but again did not score many runs. He was selected for the 1987 Cricket World Cup in India, where he scored 73 on his One Day International debut in a losing effort against Australia. He scored half-centuries in four of the five World Cup 1987 matches in which he batted, failing in the semifinal against England. His first ODI century came against Pakistan in Sharjah in 1989 while his 134 against England at Gwalior in 1993 was his highest ODI score and the innings which he called his best when he retired in 1999.
Sidhu told in an interview that an article criticising his dismal performance changed his cricketing life. After a string of poor performances in 1983, Rajan Bala, a noted cricket columnist, wrote an article on him titled “Sidhu: The Strokeless Wonder” in Indian Express. It was an epiphany that changed his life and he started taking his cricketing career seriously After his improved performance in 1987 world cup, the same columnist wrote an article titled “Sidhu: From Strokeless Wonder To A Palm-Grove Hitter”, applauding his performance.
He scored over 500 Test runs in a year thrice (1993, 1994 and 1997). His only Test double century came during India’s 1997 tour of West Indies. In 1994, he scored 884 ODI runs. Sidhu was the first Indian batsman to score more than 5 centuries in one day international.
Sidhu walked out of India’s 1996 tour of England citing differences with captain Mohammad Azharuddin. Following this, he was banished from the team for ten Tests by the BCCI eventually making a return in the 1996–97 tour of West Indies. In the second Test at Queen’s Park Oval, he scored a double century. The 201, his highest score in Tests lasted 11 hours. Known for his tendency to attack spinners, he cracked eight sixes in 124 against Sri Lanka in 1993–94, and four fifties in five innings against the Australians in 1997–98, deliberately singling out Shane Warne.
He announced his retirement from all forms of cricket in December 1999. He played over 50 Test matches and over 100 ODIs scoring over 7,000 international runs. He scored 27 First class centuries in an 18-year career.
Some of the nicknames he earned were “Sixer Sidhu” for his prolific batting performances and “Jonty Singh” with respect to his improved fielding in his late career, Jonty Rhodes being the best fielder at that time.
Commentator and Television Career
Sidhu started his career as a commentator when India toured Sri Lanka in 2001. As a commentator, Sidhu was noted for his one-liners, which came to be known as “Sidhuisms”.
After he was sacked from ESPN-Star for swearing on air, he worked for Ten Sports. He also regularly appears as a “cricket analyst” on various Indian news channels. He started to work again for ESPN Star Sports in 2012. Nowadays he is a Hindi commentator.
He also figured as a judge on the television programme – “The Great Indian Laughter Challenge.” He also appeared in other similar programmes as “Funjabi Chak De.” He has acted in a TV series called Kareena Kareena as himself. He was a contestant in a reality show called the Bigg Boss 6 and had to make an exit from the show on account of political grounds.
He used to feature in a comedy show named Comedy Nights with Kapil.
Nowadays he is seen as a permanent guest on The Kapil Sharma Show.
He launched a website sherryontopp.com that covers all his sides of a sportsman, politician and commentator in presence of cricket legend Kapil Dev and Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan.
He was banned by the ICC from commentating in Bangladesh’s games, due to racial comments thrown indirectly towards the Bangladesh team.
Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Parody
Cyrus Sahukar hosts a program on MTV “Piddhu the Great” where he is disguised as Piddhu, a lookalike of Sidhu. The one-liners in the program, similar to Sidhuisms, are called “Pidhuisms.”
Navjot Singh Sidhu In Politics
Sidhu won on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket from the Amritsar seat in the Indian general elections, 2004. After resigning due to a court case against him, he stood again after the ruling was stayed. He won a by-election with a good majority. In the 2009 general elections, he kept the Amritsar seat defeating Om Prakash Soni of INC by 6858 votes. This was what Sidhu had to say after not being nominated as party’s from Amritsar in the Indian general election, 2014.
“Amritsar is the place where my work and action speaks for itself. Since, I started contesting elections from this holy place, I have
promised myself never to abandon this place. Either, I will contest from Amritsar, or else I won’t contest elections”
-Navjot Singh Sidhu
Reiterating that he has no opposition to the decision as he considered himself as Arun Jaitley’s protege. However, he was firm on his stand of not contesting from any constituency while accepting the decision, whole heartedly, announced by the party.
Navjot Singh Sidhu took oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha on April 28, 2016. As per reports, Sidhu was given the Rajya Sabha nomination in a bid to prevent him from joining the Aam Aadmi Party. However he resigned from the Rajya Sabha on July 18, 2016.
He along with Pargat Singh and Bains brothers formed a new political front – Aawaaz-e-Punjab claiming to fight against those working against Punjab.
In January 2017, Sidhu joined the Indian National Congress. Contesting from Amritsar East in the 2017 Punjab Assembly elections, he won the election by a margin of 42,809 votes. Third on the list of nine ministers who was sworn in was Navjot Singh Sidhu, the cricketer-turned-politician who quit the BJP last year.
Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Conviction for Homicide
In 1991 Sidhu was accused of assaulting Gurnam Singh and causing his death. Sidhu was arrested by Punjab Police after the incident and had to spend several days lodged in a Patiala jail. It was reported that Sidhu had an accomplice who helped him in the murder of Gurnam Singh, the name of the accomplice was Bhupinder Singh Sandhu.
However, Sidhu denied all charges against him. Sidhu claimed in court that he was innocent and “falsely involved in this case by the complainant party”. Jaswinder Singh – nephew of Gurnam Singh – claimed that he was a witness to Sidhu’s crime and was ready to testify in the Supreme Court of India.
In December 2006, Sidhu was found guilty and sentenced to a three-year prison term for culpable homicide following a road rage incident. Following the sentencing, Sidhu resigned as a Member of Parliament and in January 2007 appealed to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court stayed his conviction and sentence allowing him to contest and win the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat in February 2007.
Navjot Singh Sidhu’s Screen appearances
Sidhu made a cameo appearance in the 2004 Hindi film Mujhse Shaadi Karogi as a commentator during a cricket match. In the 2008 Punjabi language film Mera Pind, he appeared in a pivotal role alongside singer Harbhajan Mann, playing the tole of a non-resident Indian who returns to his motherland despite a living a successful life abroad. His most recent film appearance came in 2015 in ABCD 2; another cameo that saw him play the permanent guest in the sketch comedy The Kapil Sharma Show.