With the general elections less than a month away, former India opener Gautam Gambhir joined the Bharatiya Janta Party on Friday. Addressing the media after joining the party, Gambhir said that he was inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and was honoured to join the party. The party hasn’t revealed yet whether the cricketer will contest the upcoming national elections.
However, given the popularity of cricketers in India, it’s no surprise that many of them have joined politics after quitting the sport. Many former Indian cricketers have joined politics with varying success.
Here are some former Indian cricketers who joined politics:
Kirti Azad: The former cricketer, who has represented India in 7 Tests and 25 ODIs, is currently the Lok Sabha MP from Darbhanga, Bihar. Azad had joined politics on a BJP ticket, but the 60-year-old shifted his allegiance to the Congress last month.
Speaking about the move, Azad said that PM Modi’s claim of fighting corruption was a ‘jumla’ and also alleged that the BJP lacked internal democracy.
Navjot Singh Sidhu: The former Indian opener started his political career by contesting the Lok Sabha elections in 2004 on a BJP ticket. In February 2007, he contested the Lok Sabha by-election from Amritsar and emerged victorious again.
In 2017, Sidhu joined the Congress party stating that the BJP-Akali Dal coalition government in Punjab failed to control the drug menace. He won from the Amritsar East constituency in 2017 and was appointed Minister of Local Government, Tourism and Cultural Affairs.
Mohammad Azharuddin: The former Indian captain started his political journey by joining Congress in 2009. He contested in the 2014 general elections from Tonk-Madhopur constituency in Rajasthan, but lost to the BJP's candidate by almost 1.35 lakh votes.
In November 2018, the 56-year-old was appointed as the working president of the Congress in Telangana.
Chetan Chauhan: The former India opener joined the BJP and was elected as Lok Sabha MP from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh twice, in 1991 and 1998. He is currently Minister for Sports and Youth Welfare in the Uttar Pradesh state government.
Mohammad Kaif: The cricketer who played a crucial role in India’s dramatic Natwest Series win over England did not get off to a flying start in his political career. Mohammad Kaif contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election on a Congress ticket from Phulpur constituency only to be overpowered by BJP’s Keshav Prasad Maurya.