Several cricketers have explored other career options beyond the realms of the cricket field, some have turned commentators, some actors, and a handful have also chosen to venture into politics! Let’s take a look at the Top 5 cricketers turned politicians, those famous cricketers who have tried their luck in parliament!
5. Vinod Kambli
Vinod Kambli’s is a classic case of what might have been, as fate played a cruel game on him and he never managed to graduate from being one of the brightest young prospects in Indian cricket to that of a truly successful cricketer. Kambli played his last ever test match at the age of 24 and has been long out of cricketing action. He entered politics in 2009 when he decided to contest the Vidhan Sabha election on a Lok Bharati Party ticket of which he is the vice president. He lost the election but continues to do his bit with his social work.
4. Imran Khan
Imran Khan was one of the greatest allrounders to have played the game. He holds the record for being the second fastest in achieving the ‘all rounder’s triple’ (securing 3000 runs and 300 wickets). He led Pakistan to their only ever World Cup win in 1992. Four years later in 1996, Imran founded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), a political party which took a strong step against corruption, and has been active in politics since.
The one-eyed wonder! Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi lost his right eye to an accident but that wouldn’t deter him from playing the game he loved. He went on to become one of India’s finest ever captains and led India to their first ever win overseas. His politicial career was nothing to ride home about. In 1991, Pataudi contested from Bhopal on a Congress party ticket and lost. His earlier attempt from Gurgaon on a Vishal Haryana Party ticket also ended in defeat.
Navjot Singh Sidhu is one of those in-your-face public personalities people either love or hate, but can’t ignore. He has forged a successful career behind the mike and the man who represented India in more than 50 tests and 100 ODIs entered politics in 2004, and won the Lok Sabha elections on a BJP ticket. After being convicted of culpable homicide, he was asked to resign, but after the Supreme Court put a stay on his conviction, he once again came back and won from his home town of Amritsar by a margin of 77,626 votes.
One of India’s great captains, Azharuddin rose to fame with three centuries in his first three test matches. One of the most artistic and wristy batsmen ever, Azhar joined politics in 2009 when he joined the Indian National Congress. He contested from Moradabad in western Uttar Pradesh. He won the election by defeating his rival by a huge margin. He still remains one of the very few successful cricketer-turned-politicians.