Cricket teaches us many life lessons. Risk-taking, deception, controlling emotions, leadership, determination. Every team has a captain. But, if every player acts as a leader in himself, the team is bound to excel. Being a leader means performing according to the team’s needs and carrying the group when needed. There have been many cricketers in the past who tried their hand in the politics of their respective countries. Today we will see ten such famous cricketers-
10. Imran Khan (Pakistan)
Imran Khan is the most successful among all those cricketers-turned-politicians. He was the captain of the Pakistan team when they won the 1992 Cricket World Cup. He founded a political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), on 25 April 1996. On 18 August 2018, he was appointed as the Prime Minister of Pakistan after winning the 2018 General Elections. As of 28December 2021, he is the incumbent Prime Minister of Pakistan.
9. Gautam Gambhir (India)
The stylish left-handed batsman is one of the best southpaw batters India has ever produced. In the 2007 T20 World Cup, he was India’s highest run-scorer, helping India claim the title. In the 2011 ICC World Cup Final against Sri Lanka, he scored crucial 97 runs, helping India chase the 275-run target. In the Indian Premier League, he led Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to the title in 2012 and 2014. On 22March 2019, he joined Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and stood in the 2019 General Elections from the East Delhi constituency. He won the elections against AAP’s Atishi Marlena and INC’s Arvinder Singh Lovely.
8. Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka)
Jayasuriya is well-known for his power-hitting and aggressive game. He was the Man of the Tournament in the 1996 ICC Cricket World Cup, which Sri Lanka won. He is the only player to score over 10,000 runs and claim over 300 wickets in ODI Cricket. In 2010, he ran for the Sri Lankan General Elections and was elected to the parliament from Matara district. He has served as Deputy Minister of Postal Services and as Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development. Currently, he is inactive in politics.
7. Navjot Singh Sidhu (India)
Navjot Singh Sidhu was a power-hitting top-order batsman. His hitting abilities earned him the name ‘Sixer Sidhu’. Following his international debut in 1983-84, he scored four half-centuries in the Cricket World Cup 1987. In 2004, he joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and won the General Election from Amritsar, which he held till 2014. In 2016, he was nominated to Rajya Sabha from Punjab but resigned and joined Indian National Congress (INC) in 2017. He has served as Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs in the Punjab Government. As of today, he is the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee.
6. Arjuna Ranatunga (Sri Lanka)
Ranatunga is one of the legends of Sri Lankan cricket and is often credited for shaping the national cricket team as a strong team. He was the captain of Sri Lanka in the successful 1996 Cricket World Cup. Post-retirement, he worked in the Sri Lanka Cricket administration. He competed in the 2001 elections from the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. As a politician, he has served as Deputy Minister for Tourism. In 2021, he declared that he would not participate in politics in the future.
5. Mashrafe Mortaza (Bangladesh)
Mortaza is an active Bangladeshi cricketer who has captained his team in all three formats. He led his nation to the semi-finals of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy and the 2018 Asia Cup Final. In 2001, he became the first Bangladesh pacer to clock the speed of 148 kilometers per hour. In 2018, he won a seat in the parliament on Awami League’s ticket. In February 2019, he became a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Youth and Sports Ministry.
4. Manoj Tiwary (India)
He is an aggressive right-handed batter and a leg spinner from Bengal. He has represented India in 12 ODIs and 3 T20Is. Moreover, he has played in 98 matches in the Indian Premier League (IPL), representing four teams. In the 2021 West Bengal Legislative Assembly election, he won the Shibpur seat from the All-India Trinamool Congress party and became a Member of the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal. Presently, he is serving as Minister of State for Affairs of Sports and Youth.
3. Aamer Sohail (Pakistan)
Remember the heated incident between Aamer Sohail and Venkatesh Prasad in the 1996 World Cup? Well, Sohail was the vice-captain of his side. He is the first Pakistani captain to defeat South Africa in a Test match. On 18 August 2011, he joined Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N), which he left in 2014.
2. Mohammad Kaif (India)
He came into the limelight after leading India to victory in theU19 World Cup 2000 in Sri Lanka. He made his international debut in the year2000 against South Africa. In the famous 2002 NatWest Series Final against England, he scored crucial 87 runs to help India win by two wickets. He is regarded as one of the best fielders and holds the record for taking the highest number of catches in a world-cup match – 4 against Sri Lanka in 2003. He ran for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections as an Indian National Congress candidate from Phulpur but lost to BJP’s Keshav Prasad Maurya.
1. Mohammad Azharuddin (India)
He has played 99 Test matches and 334 ODIs for India. He led India to victory in 90 ODIs, the second-highest number of wins for an Indian captain. He joined Indian National Congress (INC) in 2009, won the General Elections 2009 from Moradabad, and became a Member of Parliament. He is the current Working President of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee.