Gautam Gambhir to Mohammad Azharuddin: Prominent Indian cricketers who became politicians
Gautam Gambhir played a pivotal role in leading India to the 2011 ICC World Cup title win and also helped Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) win the title on two occasions. Meanwhile, Mohammad Azharuddin was handed a life ban for his alleged involvement in a match-fixing scandal.
Indian cricketers earn enough name and fame from the sport, besides earning some handsome bucks as well. However, following their retirement from the sport, it is not necessary that they stay associated with it in some manner.
While some go on to become coaches or join managements in the sport, some take a different career path. As for a different career, some have even entered the field of politics and are doing well in it. From Vinod Kambli (Lok Bharati Party) to Mansoor Ali Khan (Congress), there have been numerous ones. In the same light, let us have a look at some prominent Indian cricketers, who chose politics as their post-cricket career.
Mohammad Azharuddin: The former Indian skipper was going good before he tarnished his images following his alleged involvement in a match-fixing scandal, as he was handed a life ban. Consequently, he had to pursue a different career path, as he chose politics. Since 2009, he is associated with Indian National Congress (INC), as he became a Member of Parliament of India the same year.
Kirti Azad: The attacking batsman was a part of India's 1983 World Cup-inning squad. However, it was in politics that he found great success. He entered the parliament through Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from Bihar. In 2014, he won the Lok Sabha elections from Darbhanga. However, he was suspended by the BJP in 2015, following his allegations against Arun Jaitley in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) corruption case. In 2019, he joined the INC.
Mohammad Kaif: The former Indian batsman is famous for his partnership with Yuvraj Singh that helped India win the 2002 NatWest series in England. Also, it was his fielding that was praiseworthy. Nonetheless, he faded away pretty fast, as he decided to pursue politics and joined the INC in 2014, while he contested the Lok Sabha elections for Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh. However, he did not win it.
Navjot Sidhu: The opening batsman had a fascinating stint in Indian cricket. However, his post-cricketing career is being pursued in politics. In 2004, he joined BJP from Amritsar. He won the 2009 by-election, as he was sworn in as a Rajya Sabha member in 2016. Nonetheless, he quit the Rajya Sabha the very year and joined INC in 2017, before winning the Punjab Assembly elections the same year.
Gautam Gambhir: Gautam Gambhir does qualify as one of the greatest cricketers to be ever produced by India. He played a pivotal role in leading India to the 2011 ICC World Cup win, while he also captained Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to twin Indian Premier League (IPL) title wins. Following his retirement from the sport, he has joined politics. He has been a member of BJP since 2019. He contested the 2019 Indian general election from East Delhi, which he won.