Few cricketers have gone on to become famous politicians in their own countries after retirement. Many cricketers, from Gautam Gambhir to Imran Khan, have gone on to become politicians after hanging up their boots.
We’ve seen a number of former cricketers pursue different paths in their professions and lives after retiring from the game. Although not many cricketers go into politics, there have been a few well-known figures who have done it in their second innings.
1. Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu, a minister in the Punjab government, began his political career by running for Lok Sabha in 2004 on a BJP ticket. In his political career, Sidhu, who played 51 Tests and 136 ODIs for India, has worn several hats. In 2014, the BJP refused him a ticket, instead electing Arun Jaitley, the party’s chief strategist. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2016, however, he resigned.
2. Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir is regarded as one of India’s most accomplished cricketers. He was an integral part of India’s World T20 and World Cup victories in 2007 and 2011. In December 2018, the Delhi opener declared his retirement from all forms of cricket. Gambhir, on the other hand, last represented India in international cricket in 2016. It happened in Rajkot during a Test match against England. Gambhir has become a member of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP). He claimed that it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision that pushed him to enter politics and join the BJP.
3. Kirti Azad
Kirti Azad was a member of the Indian national team from 1980 to 1986. Azad made his international debut in an ODI match against Australia in Melbourne and played his final match against Pakistan in Sharjah in 1986. In his six years of cricketing, Kirti played 25 ODI matches and seven Test matches, scoring 29 and 135 runs respectively. Kirti was a member of the Indian team that won the 1983 World Cup under the guidance of Kapil Dev. He is the son of former Bihar state minister Bhagwat Jha Azad. Kirti subsequently followed in his father’s footsteps and was elected to Parliament from Darbhanga, Bihar, on a BJP ticket.
4. Mohammad Azharuddin
Both as a leader and as a player, Mohammad Azharuddin had a great career. He amassed almost 15,000 international runs and 29 centuries in his career. However, he was charged with match-fixing, which put an end to his career. His brother persuaded him to enter politics in 2009. He ran for the Congress party in the 2009 general elections and won the seat of Moradabad, becoming a Member of Parliament. In 2014, he ran again from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan, but he didn’t have the same success and lost.
5. Imran Khan
One of the most well-known examples of a cricketer-turned-politician is Imran Khan. He had an almost twenty-one-year international career. In 1992, he guided Pakistan to the World Cup victory. Imran Khan, on the other hand, has taken a significant interest in politics since his retirement. He founded his own political party in 1996. Both the party and Khan had their share of highs and lows. At first, they were largely unsuccessful. They’ve since turned things around, and Imran Khan is now Pakistan’s Prime Minister. In 2018, he won the general elections.