Navjot Sidhu posted a picture on Twitter yesterday, where he revealed that he was suffering from a life-threatening disease, but was hoping to recover.
The picture went viral and was featured in all major websites, as the tributes began to flow in. Strangely, we noticed that all the tributes were about him being a great host on Comedy Nights With Kapil. Nobody spoke about his achievements as a cricketer, or the colourful life he has led.
Here’s the Navjot Sidhu that you don’t know of.
1. Navjot Sidhu’s wife’s name is Navjot Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu’s wife’s name is Navjot Kaur Sidhu. She’s a doctor, politician, and a member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly.
2. Sidhu was quite the emotional guy
Throughout his life, Sidhu wore his heart on his sleeve. He once got into a fight with Prabhakar over a box of Rossogullas, and in another incident, he left an England tour halfway through and took a flight back home. The reason cited was that Azharuddin had abused him. Later, investigations revealed that Azhar had said ‘Maa ki kirikiri’, which is a common Hyderabadi slang for ‘Dimaag ki dahi’.
3. Navjot Singh Sidhu is an accomplished politician.
Since 2004, Sidhu has dabbled in politics, getting a ticket from the BJP to contest from Amritsar. He won the elections comfortably, contesting again, while making it clear that he wanted to only contest from Amritsar, and nowhere else. Sidhu is a Member of Parliament, and his wife is a Member of State Legislative Assembly in Punjab. Is he as dramatic in the Parliament? You figure out for yourself.
4. Sidhu has featured in quite a few films
Navjot Sidhu has been popular on Indian television screen for more than a decade now. While it began with The Great Indian Laughter Challenge, he has also acted in films – Mujhse Shadi Karoge and Mera Pind. He regularly features in guest appearances in films and television, apart from being a regular feature on the most popular show on Indian TV – Comedy Nights With Kapil.
5. Sidhu has been booked for murder
Back in 1988, when he was 25 years old, Sidhu got into a scuffle with a man in a Patiala market. Things escalated and the man died, with Sidhu being booked for murder.
The issue was held up in court for a long time, till Sidhu was booked for murder in 2006, when he impressively resigned from all political positions of the time. Later, the Court ‘stayed’ its conviction in the case, and Sidhu was free to contest elections again.
6. Sidhu was a kick-ass batsman
Overall, the reason Navjot Sidhu first created his identity, is because of his skills with the bat. In a career spanning 16 years, Sidhu played for India from 1983 to 1999. His best, though, was in the 1987 World Cup, where he scored four half-centuries in five matches. The one match that he failed to score, sadly, was the semi-final, and India were knocked out of the tournament.
Over his career, Sidhu was famous for launching into brutal attacks on spinners, earning him the nickname ‘Sixer Sidhu’, and ‘Man of Sixes’. When he was criticized for poor fielding, he worked on his fielding and was nicknamed ‘Jonty Singh’. His attack of Shane Warne in 1998 is the stuff of legends, as he danced down the track and booted Warne out of the park.
Sidhu was also a No-nonsense cricketer, as Aamir Sohail found out when he tried to sledge at him. Sidhu promptly raised his bat and walked up to Sohail to smash the daylights out of him. Thankfully, nothing happened after that.
7. Sidhu was fired from ESPN-STAR for abusing on air
During a World Cup preparatory matches, Sidhu allegedly said to co-commentator Alan Wilkins – ‘Don’t f*ck around with me’. This was captured on air and Sidhu was fired from the Commentary Panel. He was reinstated later in 2012, but he mostly restricts himself to Hindi commentary these days, along with other sleeping pills like Kapil Dev and Arun Lal.
8. Sidhu is hated in Bangladesh
Never one to mince his words, Sidhu was frank in his opinion of Bangladesh. This was back when Bangladesh had been granted permanent Test playing status, but weren’t winning any matches at all. Sidhu is said to have said, ‘Cockroached and birds both fly, but cockroaches are not birds. Well, that pissed off a lot of Bangladeshis, and they spewed hatred on YouTube. In fact, there’s a petition on Change.org in which Bangladeshis championed for him to be booked for racial abuse.
They also have a Facebook page called ‘We hate Sidhu’.
Over the last four decades, Sidhu has made himself relevant to every age. Whether it was getting into commentary when Indian cricket was beginning to get powerful, or as a judge on TV, or getting into politics when his party was on the cusp of a national sweep, Sidhu knows how to stay relevant with the times. Which is why, in spite of retiring 16 years ago, Navjot Singh Sidhu is still releavent.