Cricket is a religion in the Indian subcontinent and ‘Gentleman’s Game’ has an unrivaled following among die-hard fans in the South Asian region.
Cricket is hailed as rock stars in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and they are idolized and adored because they bring smiles to millions with their game-changing looks.
Such was the enormous public appeal and followers of these demigod cricket that they were considered role models by lakhs and lakhs of citizens, who took inspiration from them in bringing positive opportunities to their lives.
There are numerous instances where cricket players have turned to the public service to serve their compatriots by throwing their hats into the political arena after their annual homeland service on the cricket field.
Notable among the many global cricket players who have become politicians after representing their nation in cricket are Gautam Gambhir, Navjot Sidhu, Imran Khan, Kirti Azad and Arjuna Ranatunga.
So let’s take a look at some of the very successful cricketers who also have the same duties in the political arena, saying goodbye to this sport.
Former Indian Test cricketer Gautam Gambhir has become the latest entrant to join politics after serving the country with dignity, wearing the national jersey for the Indian cricket team for more than a decade.
Former batsman opening India Bharatiya Janata Party on 22 March 2019 in the presence of Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Gambhir becomes a Member of Parliament after he won the Lok Sabha 2019 election on a BJP ticket from the East Delhi constituency defeating Party candidate Aam Aadmi Atishi Marlena and Congress candidate Arvinder Singh Lovely
NAVJOT SINGH SIDHU
Navjot Singh Sidhu |
The highly versatile Navjot Singh Sidhu has mastered many trades and mastered several with his impressive and dynamic personality. Sidhu, who opened the innings for India with some success during the late 80s and 90s in red and white ball format, entered the political fray after retiring from the game.
Known for his bombastic speeches and trendy cuteness, the powerful Sidhu won Amritsar’s Lok Sabha 20004 election with a BJP ticket. He bagged the Amristar Lok Sabha for the second time in a row after winning the 2009 general election from the Punjab constituency.
The BJP denied him a ticket for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and gave the seat to the party’s top strategist and later Union Minister Arun Jaitley. In 2016, Sidhu was given a Rajya Sabha ticket by the BJP and he was sworn in as a member of the Upper House, but resigned shortly thereafter. Sidhu joined the Indian National Congress in 2017 and won state assembly elections from the Amritsar Timur constituency.
He served as Minister of Local Government, Tourism, Cultural Affairs, and Museums in the Congress-led government of Captain Amarainder Singh in Punjab.
Former Indian cricket captain and former member of parliament Mohammad Azharuddin (PIC video / Twitter)
Mohammad Azharuddin entered the political arena after a decade and a half of a hugely successful cricket career for India.
After leading India for nearly a decade in ODI test and cricket in the 90s and carving his name as one of the greatest with the willow tree, the stylish Hyderabadi hitter started his political chapter in 2009 when he joined the Congress party a decade after retiring.
Azhar became a member of the Lok Sabha parliament in 2009 after winning the general election from the Moradabad constituency in Uttar Pradesh. Azhar did not get another term in parliament because he suffered a heavy loss in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from the Moradabad constituency.
He has shown interest in contesting the 2019 elections from the Secunderabad parliamentary constituency in Telangana. Azhar is currently the Chair of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan. (File Photo / AFP)
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan is perhaps the most famous example of a hugely successful international cricketer who turned into a prominent politician after applying to leave the sport.
Hailed as one of the most influential versatile players who graced the ‘Gentleman’s Game’, Imran Khan who led Pakistan to its maiden title and only World Cup at the 1992 World Cup was elected Prime Minister of his country after his Pakistani party Tehreek-e-Insaf won. in the General Election held in July 2018.
In the 2018 National Assembly elections, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) won the most votes and won the most seats (149) in a poll held to elect members of the National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies.
Hailed as Sri Lanka’s greatest captain and strategist, Arjuna Ranatunga joined politics after a sparkling cricket career for the Island State and won the National Election to become Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka for the constituency of Gampaha.
In 2015, Ranatunga was appointed Minister of Ports and Shipping after previously serving as Deputy Minister of Tourism of Sri Lanka.