Navjot Singh Sidhu (Punjabi: ਨਵਜੋਤ ਸਿੰਘ ਸਿੱਧੂ, born 20 October 1963) is a former Indian cricketer and a former Member of Parliament from Amritsar (Lok Sabha constituency) between 2004 and 2014.
After retirement from cricket Navjot Singh Sidhu took up television commentary, TV shows, and politics. In 2006, he was convicted for homicide in a 1988 road rage incident, whereupon he resigned from his political position, but after appealing to the Indian Supreme Court, the sentence was suspended, and he won the by-election for his seat. Earlier he used to be seen in a popular Indian comedy show, Comedy Nights with Kapil as a permanent guest. But now is in The Kapil Sharma Show.
He was born in a Jat Sikh family of Sidhu Gotra in Patiala, in the Indian state of Punjab. His father, Sardar Bhagwant Singh Sidhu was a decent cricket player and wanted to see his son Navjot as a top-class cricketer. Sidhu 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 member of Punjab Legislative Assembly.The couple has a daughter named Rabia Sidhu and a son named Karan Sidhu.
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. 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.
His highest score 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 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 star sportd show 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..
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. 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.
On 15th January, 2017 he joined the Indian National Congress party in the presence of Rahul Gandhi and just 15 days before the Punjab Assembly elections and later got ticket for Amritsar East constituency.
Conviction for homicide
In 1991 Sidhu was accused of assaulting Praveen Shah 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. Sidhu has made a cameo appearance in the Varun Dhawan starrer ABCD 2 with his all time comedy mate Kapil Sharma .
In 2007 he was a judge on the show, Laughter Challenge, along with Shekhar Suman
In 2012 he was a contestant in a reality show Bigg Boss 6.
In 2013 he contributed to a comedy show, Comedy Nights with Kapil.
In 2016 he became a permanent guest on The Kapil Sharma Show.
- As contestant
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