Navjot Singh Sidhu – A master of U-turns, from the cricket pitch to the political arena


“Men of genius are admired; rich men are envied; men of power are feared; but we only trust men of character. #Rahul Dravid ” – Navjot Singh Sidhu on Twitter (May 6, 2013).

This quote was used so often by former Indian opener and now star politician Navjot Singh Sidhu that many people may find it hard to believe that this one originally belonged to Alfred Adler, an Austrian and founder of the school of individual psychology which was one of the most prominent psychologists of the 20th century. Such has been the astounding aura around “Sidhuism” that very few people bother to verify the authenticity and sources of Sidhu’s citing and inciting quotes. Either way, another fact that the Congress Party is finding out now is that Sidhu is never easy to trust. Unfathomable, every political party (which also includes the BJP and AAP) has always ignored the inconstancy of their words and actions that were so evident during their cricket career.

Can this modern generation believe that once upon a time Sidhu was a man of few words! That he could change gears according to the demands of the game was one of his defining strengths. However, paradoxically, he could also change his mind so often and so quickly that it would even have shocked some of his fiercest supporters. Perhaps that trait of his playing days has remained unchanged in his political avatar over the past two decades as well.

The sixer-king who could also turn around!

Sidhu had retired from cricket and was making a name for himself as a prominent and popular commentator by the time I first met him. It was a little embarrassing because he kept calling me “beta”; I was amused because I was not young enough to be her son! It was the summer of 2004 (if memory serves) and Sidhu had come for a meeting with the channel manager of a prominent media house and the sports editor. The channel manager was impressed with his verbosity and very happy to have managed to convince the former opener to join his channel as the cricket expert of a respected rival group, who was literally the face of their cover of cricket. Sidhu seemed happy to have finally got the right price for his unique oratorical talent in Indian broadcasting. And yet he refused to sign the final contract that night in Delhi. Nothing was going well since Sidhu argued that it was not an auspicious day and that he would complete the formalities the next day and send the documents for this deal. We took his word for it, such was his incredible conviction and his gift of gossip to persuade even unbelievers. Even senior executives were unaware of this coup, however, the sense of triumph turned out to be a premature celebration. “Sir, do you think it’s so easy to get Sidhu on board by simply offering a lucrative deal?” Maybe you forgot that we spent so many years with him and we know exactly how to persuade him to turn around, and we did it conveniently, ”revealed a top journalist from this channel later. rival. And this gentleman was right, because Sidhu had shown our channel’s confidential document papers to that channel and asked them to respond to the offer if they wanted him to stay. Sidhu of course got what he wanted, but I guess he lost some respect from both channels.

Exit from the world of comments

And yet Sidhu has steadily made progress in the field of broadcasting cricket and has become the focal point of all the big producers of the big TV channels. Sidhu’s presence was a guarantee of getting better TRPs as his unique style of commentary in English and Hindi was a great act of disruption. People like Virender Sehwag and Aakash Chopra have freed the Hindi commentary box from its inherent inferiority complex, but it owes a lot to Sidhu who pioneered it. However, Sidhu lacked the composure and professionalism of a Sunil Gavaskar or Ravi Shastri who had already established themselves as formidable commentators. Sidhu’s “exaggerated” comments and his highly exaggerated and extremely critical comments offended Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly during the 2003 World Cup coverage (especially after India’s loss to Australia in the very first tournament match). However, the final nail in the coffin is believed to have been his “on-air” indiscipline against fellow commentator Alan Wilkins. Although neither the channel, nor Sidhu or Wilkins have ever confirmed this incident, Sidhu has not been on the broadcast since then. And yet, there has never been a shortage of options in the television industry.

Chaa Gaye, Guru! ‘: BJP, AAP Thoko Taalis at Punjab Congress as Navjot Sidhu leaves

Unreliable team player

Despite his success as India’s first game, there has always been a question mark over Sidhu’s absolute commitment to the team’s cause among his former teammates. There are many recorded instances in his career where he left his team behind when they needed him most. Of course, the most important of these was his sudden departure from a tour of England in 1996 after his differences with the then captain Mohammed Azharuddin, but the problems with his physical form or for mysterious reasons against the Attacks at the hostile pace of this era are often discussed in a whispered tone.

A flat tyrant?

Sidhu’s contemporaries have also not been as successful as Sachin Tendulkar or a Rahul Dravid in difficult conditions abroad, but his own numbers are heavily skewed in conditions at home. A batting average of 42 (in 51 test games) isn’t bad, but if you learn he averaged around 33 on the road, it lends credence to the theory that he was ” suspect ”of an attack at a hostile pace. Sidhu only managed four Test 100s – two against the West Indies in 1989 and 1997 and two against Sri Lanka. Even in the ODI, none of its eight tonnes were marked outside the subcontinent.

Punjab Potboiler: Headless Cong Again, with a brave face, he snuggles up to appease a sulky Sidhu

Going against team decisions is so typical of Sidhu!

There is another famous story from the Punjab Ranji Trophy Lodge that no one officially tells but never fails to tell whenever Sidhu’s cricket days are discussed in his home state. Sidhu was leading the Punjab Ranji team in the 1990s and in one of the matches it was decided at the team meeting that Punjab would strike first if he won the toss as the pitch was supposed to run in the last two days. The team felt that the grass on the pitch wasn’t going to last any longer and might just help the crimps for an hour or two. Therefore, hitting first was the best option. Still, Captain Sidhu decided otherwise and didn’t even tell his team that the decision was made by him. This was only revealed on the second day of play, when the rival team’s batsmen appreciated the placid nature of the wicket and one of the Punjab outfielders complained that he lost the draw in the comes out. He was taken aback when told that it was his captain Sidhu who won the toss! Of course, Sidhu claimed that the rival team won the toss and decided to strike first! (This was apparently done to avoid facing two young fast from the opposing team on a grass pitch on the first morning!). Perhaps some of these anecdotes from his playing days suggest that Sidhu was always a master of U-turns and often to the detriment of his own team.

“Politics is not a bad boss by profession, if you succeed there are rewards, if you fail you can still write the book,” was one of Sidhu’s oft-repeated quotes. As a cricketer Sidhu never wrote a book, but it’s never too late if he decides to do it now as a politician as he must have a lot to say and explain to his fans and his constituents after a history of multiple U- turns both in cricket and in the political field.

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