Gautam Gambhir joins BJP: A list of cricketers who entered politics

News that former India opener Gautam Gambhir on Friday joined the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the buildup to the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections has turned the focus on famous cricketers to enter politics.

Gambhir, who was a key member of India’s 2007 ICC World T20 and 2011 World Cup triumphs, joins a list of cricketers who turned politicians.

IMRAN KHAN

The most prominent cricketer-turned-politician is Imran Khan, the former Pakistan captain who last year was elected the country’s Prime Minister. Imran, who led Pakistan to its only World Cup title in 1992, last July won the most seats in the elections for his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.

MOHAMMAD AZHARUDDIN

The former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who played 334 ODIs and 99 Test matches, joined the Indian National Congress party and became the Member of Parliament from Moradabad constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

ARJUNA RANATUNGA

Arguably Sri Lanka’s greatest captain ever, Arjuna Ranatunga joined politics after retiring and has been a Member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka for Gampaha constituency. In 2015, he was appointed as the Minister of Ports and Shipping having earlier held the post of Sri Lanka’s Deputy Minister for Tourism.

SANATH JAYASURIYA

Ranatunga’s 1996 World Cup-winning team-mate and one of the most devastating openers that cricket has seen, Sanath Jayasuriya was elected as Member of Parliament from his native Matara district for one full term and has served as the deputy union minister of postal services and later as the deputy union minister of Local Government & Rural Development under president.

NAVJOT SINGH SIDHU

Navjot Singh Sidhu, who featured in 51 Tests and 136 ODIs for India, has donned several hats in his political career. He was twice a Member of Parliament from Amritsar constituency, and has been part of the BJP and Congress.

MOHAMMAD KAIF

Mohammad Kaif, who featured in 125 ODIs and 13 Tests between 2000 and 2006, represented Congress from his constituency of Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh without success. He is currently assistant coach of Delhi Capitals in the IPL.

KIRTI AZAD

The former India allrounder Kirti Azad, part of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad, represented the BJP and won the election from Bihar’s Darbhanga constituency thrice.In February 2019, he joined the Congress party.

CHETAN CHAUHAN

Chetan Chauhan, who was Sunil Gavaskar’s opening partner in Tests,  has twice been a Member of Parliament from Amroha constituency in Uttar Pradesh.