Main Azad Hoon: From Botham to Dilip, Kirti’s ability to surprise remains intact | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: Former cricketer turned politician Kirti Azad on Tuesday registered a remarkable victory in the Bardhaman-Durgapur constituency of West Bengal, beating BJP heavyweight Dilip Ghosh by a margin of 1,37,981 lakh votes.
Azad took down BJP’s most senior state leaders, Ghosh, in a territory that was unfamiliar to both candidates.
Azad’s triumph can be compared to his famous ‘grubber’ delivery that cleaned up Ian Botham in the 1983 World Cup semi-final at the Oval.
World’s No. 1 all-rounder at that time, Botham could only look back in frustration at his rattled furniture. Similarly, Ghosh finds himself stunned by the outcome of the election.
The 65-year-old’s win can considered one of the biggest victories for Trinamool Congress.
Azad, who had previously won back-to-back elections for BJP from Darbhanga in Bihar, switched to Congress after a feud with the late Arun Jaitley over alleged corruption in the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association (DDCA).
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek have provided Azad’s political career with a second lease of life.
Azad has always been a non-conformist, known for his powerful batting and authoritarian captaincy during his cricketing days.
Some critics allege that his proximity to Kapil Dev helped him secure a place in the Indian team, but there is no doubt that he was a force to reckon with in domestic cricket, especially against off-spin bowlers.
Together with the late Bishan Singh Bedi, Azad often launched missives against the workings of DDCA and directly attacked Jaitley over various issues.
While opinions about him have always been polarized, with some describing him as straight-talking and others as an opportunist, one thing is certain – Kirti Azad has never been one to be ignored.
(With inputs from PTI)


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