IPL 2024: Navjot Singh Sidhu to make commentary return after a decade

After a decade away from the commentary box pursuing politics, the former Indian opener Navjot Singh Sidhu is set to make his return for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season.

Sidhu known for his witty “Sidhuisms” and insightful analysis, has been roped in by Star Sports to provide his trademark flair.

Sidhu, after his retirement, entered straight into the commentary in the late 90s and was an instant hit. His unique way of speaking and deep understanding of the game quickly made him a fan favorite.

“I left cricket and joined commentary and I did not know if this is something I could do. I was not very confident (initially) but 10-15 days into the World Cup, the word Sidhuism came up. I was walking in a lane no one was walking. It was the lane of Sidhuism,” Sidhu was quoted as saying by Deccan Herald.

He left a mark during India’s World Cup campaigns and the initial years of the IPL. However, in 2004 he transitioned to politics with the BJP and stepped away from the mic, going on to win the Amritsar seat until 2014.

Cricket is my first love: Navjot Singh Sidhu

Now at 60 years old, Sidhu is thrilled to be returning to cricket commentary. “Boss, cricket is my first love. If your hobby becomes your profession there is nothing better than that. A duckling would never forget how to swim, I will take to commentary like a fish takes to water,” he said.

Sidhu believes that IPL will be crucial in shaping the T20 World Cup squads. “The IPL will set the tone for the World Cup. There is no other cricket happening. The eyes of the world are on IPL. This is where you can snatch a berth for the T20 World Cup, not only Indians, even the foreign players.”

Talking about two of India’s best batters he said, “I would rate Kohli as the greatest Indian batsman for the simple reason, of his fitness, he is getting fitter with age like old wine does. Both are quality players. I am not sure about Rohit’s fitness levels. With age you tend to slow down, your reflexes tend to go,” he added.

While money was never the prime motivator, Sidhu acknowledged the deals commentators can land with. “From Rs 60-70 lakh for the whole tournament, I was taking Rs 25 lakh per day in IPL. The satisfaction was not with money, the satisfaction was that time would fly. It was beautiful,” he concluded.