Birthday special in pictures: 21 sports stars who turned politicians

05-May-2017
  • Laxmi Ratan Shukla: In 2016, the former cricketer from Bengal joined the All India Trinamool Congress. He also became the minister of State Sports and Youth Services. (Pic/ AFP)

    Laxmi Ratan Shukla: In 2016, the former cricketer from Bengal joined the All India Trinamool Congress. He also became the minister of State Sports and Youth Services. (Pic/ AFP)

  • Sachin Tendulkar: In April 2012, India's greatest cricketer was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the president of India, thus becoming the first active sportsperson to have been nominated. Tendulkar had begun his new innings as an MP with a detailed letter to the then Sports Minister Ajay Maken putting forward a plan to improve sporting infrastructure at the university level as well as identifying young talent in schools and colleges. He had hinted at concentrating on parliament work after retirement when he took oath as a member of Rajya Sabha

    Sachin Tendulkar: In April 2012, India's greatest cricketer was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the president of India, thus becoming the first active sportsperson to have been nominated. Tendulkar had begun his new innings as an MP with a detailed letter to the then Sports Minister Ajay Maken putting forward a plan to improve sporting infrastructure at the university level as well as identifying young talent in schools and colleges. He had hinted at concentrating on parliament work after retirement when he took oath as a member of Rajya Sabha

  • Navjot Singh Sidhu: The dashing Indian opener turned TV commentator, judge on a reality show and then politician. Sidhu was elected to the Lok Sabha as the member from Amritsar in 2004 on a BJP ticket. He later resigned, following his conviction for culpable homicide. After the Supreme Court stayed his conviction, he successfully contested the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, defeating his Congress rival, State Finance Minister Surinder Singla, by 77,626 votes

    Navjot Singh Sidhu: The dashing Indian opener turned TV commentator, judge on a reality show and then politician. Sidhu was elected to the Lok Sabha as the member from Amritsar in 2004 on a BJP ticket. He later resigned, following his conviction for culpable homicide. After the Supreme Court stayed his conviction, he successfully contested the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat, defeating his Congress rival, State Finance Minister Surinder Singla, by 77,626 votes

  • Mohammad Kaif: He contested in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh's Phulpur constituency on a Congress ticket. Phulpur is famous in history as the seat from where Jawaharlal Nehru got elected to the Lok Sabha. Pic/AFP

    Mohammad Kaif: He contested in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh's Phulpur constituency on a Congress ticket. Phulpur is famous in history as the seat from where Jawaharlal Nehru got elected to the Lok Sabha. Pic/AFP

  • Mohammad Azharuddin: The former India captain joined the Congress in 2009. He contested the Indian general election, 2009 from Moradabad in western Uttar Pradesh, and won the elections, defeating his nearest BJP rival Kunvar Sarvesh Kumar Singh by a huge margin. Pic/AFP

    Mohammad Azharuddin: The former India captain joined the Congress in 2009. He contested the Indian general election, 2009 from Moradabad in western Uttar Pradesh, and won the elections, defeating his nearest BJP rival Kunvar Sarvesh Kumar Singh by a huge margin. Pic/AFP

  • Baichung Bhutia: The former India football captain contested in Lok Sabha polls on a Trinamool Congress ticket. He was candidate from Darjeeling, and aimed to work for the development of the hills and serve people with honesty

    Baichung Bhutia: The former India football captain contested in Lok Sabha polls on a Trinamool Congress ticket. He was candidate from Darjeeling, and aimed to work for the development of the hills and serve people with honesty

  • Vinod Kambli: The former batsman scored two Test double centuries before losing his way somehow, despite making numerous comebacks. His career was marred by controversies. As a politician, he contested on a Lok Bharati Party ticket from Vikhroli, Mumbai. He lost

    Vinod Kambli: The former batsman scored two Test double centuries before losing his way somehow, despite making numerous comebacks. His career was marred by controversies. As a politician, he contested on a Lok Bharati Party ticket from Vikhroli, Mumbai. He lost

  • Imran Khan: Pakistan's only World Cup-winning captain turned to politics immediately after retirement. He is chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which has not been a success story so far. Earlier in the decade, he was in contention for the Prime Minister’s post but seems to be floundering lately in labyrinthine world of Pakistan politics. Pic/AFP

    Imran Khan: Pakistan's only World Cup-winning captain turned to politics immediately after retirement. He is chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, which has not been a success story so far. Earlier in the decade, he was in contention for the Prime Minister’s post but seems to be floundering lately in labyrinthine world of Pakistan politics. Pic/AFP

  • Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi: The late prince and former Indian captain, who led India to their first overseas Test win will go down in history as one of cricket's finest captains ever. The Nawab of Pataudi passed away in 2011.As a politician, Pataudi contested on a Congress ticket from Bhopal in 1991, and lost. He had a similar experience previously, in 1971. Back then, he suffered a defeat from Gurgaon while representing the Vishal Haryana Party

    Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi: The late prince and former Indian captain, who led India to their first overseas Test win will go down in history as one of cricket's finest captains ever. The Nawab of Pataudi passed away in 2011.As a politician, Pataudi contested on a Congress ticket from Bhopal in 1991, and lost. He had a similar experience previously, in 1971. Back then, he suffered a defeat from Gurgaon while representing the Vishal Haryana Party

  • Praveen Kumar: The Indian fast bowler joined the Samajwadi Party and vows to learn the trade ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. (Pic/ Suresh K.K.)

    Praveen Kumar: The Indian fast bowler joined the Samajwadi Party and vows to learn the trade ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. (Pic/ Suresh K.K.)

  • Chetan Chauhan: One of the most courageous opening batsmen of his time, Sunil Gavaskar's former opening partner, Chetan Chauhan turned selector, manager and politician after hanging his cricketing boots. As a politician, he was elected to Parliament on a BJP ticket from Amroha in 1991 and 1998. Though he lost both elections, he continues to be actively involved in politics

    Chetan Chauhan: One of the most courageous opening batsmen of his time, Sunil Gavaskar's former opening partner, Chetan Chauhan turned selector, manager and politician after hanging his cricketing boots. As a politician, he was elected to Parliament on a BJP ticket from Amroha in 1991 and 1998. Though he lost both elections, he continues to be actively involved in politics

  • Pargat Singh: The former India hockey captain contested on a Shiromani Akali Dal ticket, from Jalandhar Cantt constituency, during the 2012 Assembly elections. He was victorious, defeating Congress' Jagbir Brar. Pic/AFP

    Pargat Singh: The former India hockey captain contested on a Shiromani Akali Dal ticket, from Jalandhar Cantt constituency, during the 2012 Assembly elections. He was victorious, defeating Congress' Jagbir Brar. Pic/AFP

  • Rajyavardhan Rathore: A silver medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, the former shooter joined BJP in 2013 after taking voluntary retirement from the Indian Army. Pic/AFP

    Rajyavardhan Rathore: A silver medalist at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, the former shooter joined BJP in 2013 after taking voluntary retirement from the Indian Army. Pic/AFP

  • Marat Safin: A talented but erratic tennis player, Safin was elected to Russian Parliament as a member of Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party, in December 2011. Safin represents the Nizhny Novgorod region. Pic/AFP

    Marat Safin: A talented but erratic tennis player, Safin was elected to Russian Parliament as a member of Vladimir Putin's United Russia Party, in December 2011. Safin represents the Nizhny Novgorod region. Pic/AFP

  • Jyotirmoyee Sikdar: A gold medalist at Asian Games in Bangkok in 1998, the former middle distance runner is involved with the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Sikdar won a seat contesting from the Krishnagar constituency of West Bengal in the 14th Lok Sabha, before losing the same in 2009

    Jyotirmoyee Sikdar: A gold medalist at Asian Games in Bangkok in 1998, the former middle distance runner is involved with the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Sikdar won a seat contesting from the Krishnagar constituency of West Bengal in the 14th Lok Sabha, before losing the same in 2009

  • Kirti Azad: As a cricketer, Azad was part of the Indian team that won the 1983 World Cup. He played 7 Tests and 25 ODIs. His father, Bhagwat Jha Azad was Bihar's Chief Minister in 1988-89. Azad later turned out as a BJP MP from Darbhanga. He remains active in politics

    Kirti Azad: As a cricketer, Azad was part of the Indian team that won the 1983 World Cup. He played 7 Tests and 25 ODIs. His father, Bhagwat Jha Azad was Bihar's Chief Minister in 1988-89. Azad later turned out as a BJP MP from Darbhanga. He remains active in politics

  • Sanath Jayasuriya: Nicknamed the Matara Marauder, Sanath Jayasuriya tore bowlers apart with his attacking strokeplay. He was instrumental in Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup triumph. As a politician, he turned MP from his hometown Matara recently. He is a part of the ruling alliance led by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Pic/AFP

    Sanath Jayasuriya: Nicknamed the Matara Marauder, Sanath Jayasuriya tore bowlers apart with his attacking strokeplay. He was instrumental in Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup triumph. As a politician, he turned MP from his hometown Matara recently. He is a part of the ruling alliance led by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Pic/AFP

  • Arjuna Ranatunga: Sri Lanka's only World Cup-winning captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, is also the nation's most influential cricketer. After retirement, he became selector, administrator, chairman of the board and politician. As a politician, he was part of Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party. He later joined the Democratic National Alliance. However, following a rift with the party leader, he resigned in 2012. Pic/AFP

    Arjuna Ranatunga: Sri Lanka's only World Cup-winning captain, Arjuna Ranatunga, is also the nation's most influential cricketer. After retirement, he became selector, administrator, chairman of the board and politician. As a politician, he was part of Chandrika Kumaratunga’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party. He later joined the Democratic National Alliance. However, following a rift with the party leader, he resigned in 2012. Pic/AFP

  • Eric Cantona: The former Manchester United star, who later shifted focus to films, Eric also dabbled in politics in France. He successfully obtained the requisite signatures needed to become a candidate in the 2012 vote for president. Pic/ AFP

    Eric Cantona: The former Manchester United star, who later shifted focus to films, Eric also dabbled in politics in France. He successfully obtained the requisite signatures needed to become a candidate in the 2012 vote for president. Pic/ AFP

  • Manoj Prabhakar: The former India all-rounder played 39 Tests and 130 ODIs for India. The Indian cricket Board banned him for his alleged role in the match-fixing scandal. As a politician, he contested from New Delhi in 1998 only to lose badly

    Manoj Prabhakar: The former India all-rounder played 39 Tests and 130 ODIs for India. The Indian cricket Board banned him for his alleged role in the match-fixing scandal. As a politician, he contested from New Delhi in 1998 only to lose badly

  • Hashan Tillakaratne: The former Sri Lanka captain was a fine middle-order batsman who played 83 Tests and 200 ODIs. He was part of Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup-winning side. As a politician, he remains a member of the United National Party. He was appointed as the party's organiser for Avissawella constituency in Colombo. Pic/AFP

    Hashan Tillakaratne: The former Sri Lanka captain was a fine middle-order batsman who played 83 Tests and 200 ODIs. He was part of Sri Lanka's 1996 World Cup-winning side. As a politician, he remains a member of the United National Party. He was appointed as the party's organiser for Avissawella constituency in Colombo. Pic/AFP

  • Sir Frank Worrell: A stylish right-handed batsman, and the first black captain of the West Indies, Sir Frank Worrell was one of the first cricketers to be involved in active politics. When he quit cricket, Alexander Bustamante appointed him to the Jamaican Senate. Worrell supported a closer political union between the nations of the Caribbean

    Sir Frank Worrell: A stylish right-handed batsman, and the first black captain of the West Indies, Sir Frank Worrell was one of the first cricketers to be involved in active politics. When he quit cricket, Alexander Bustamante appointed him to the Jamaican Senate. Worrell supported a closer political union between the nations of the Caribbean

  • Mohammad Kaif, Pargat Singh and Arjuna Ranatunga. Read about their political affiliations, and those of many others...

    Mohammad Kaif, Pargat Singh and Arjuna Ranatunga. Read about their political affiliations, and those of many others...

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