Navjot Singh Sidhu born 20 October 1963 is former Indian cricketer. After retirement from cricket Navjot Singh Sidhu took up television commentary, and politics. He was later forced to resign from his political position because he was convicted of homicide, but he won the by-election for his seat once he was cleared of the charges. He was a contestant in Bigg Boss 6.
Sidhu was born in Sikh Family in Patiala, in the Indian state of Punjab. 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 member of Punjab Legislative Assembly.They have a son named Karan and daughter named Rabia.
Navjot Singh Sidhu had a volatile career as a cricketer from 1983 to 1999.
He made an uneventful international debut against the West Indies at Ahmedabad in 1983 scoring just 19 runs in his debut Test match. He was given another chance in that series but failed again. He was selected for the 1987 Cricket World Cup in India scoring 73 on his One Day International debut in a losing effort against Australia. He scored 50s in four of the 5 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 pathetic performance 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 wonderful 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’s finest moment in Tests was his 201 against West Indies in 1996–97, a defiant knock lasting 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 has 27 centuries to his credit 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 for Nimbus sport when India toured Sri Lanka in 2001. He however later became a commentator with ESPN Star Sports. 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 and is noted for being possibly the most loved & famed figure in international commentary today.
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 is currently a contestant in a reality show called the Bigg Boss 6.As per the reports Sidhu would be making an exit from the show on account of political grounds.
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.”
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
Conviction for Homicide
In 1988 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.
Sidhu made a special appearance in the film Mujhse Shaadi Karogi. Sidhu acted in a Punjabi movie Mera Pind. In the movie, Sidhu played the role of a NRI Navroz Singh Lamba, who has chosen to settle in his native village and spread the message of empowerment and entrepreneurship amongst the village youth. The film was released on 20 September 2008. The other co-stars of the movie are famous Punjabi singer Harbhajan Maan and comedians Gurpreet Ghuggi and Rana Ranbir.