Navjot Singh Sidhu: Mood swings on the cricket ground too

By Express News Service

Former chief minister Amarinder Singh had an I-told-you-so moment as news broke of arch enemy Navjot Singh Sidhu resigning as head of the Punjab Congress unit. “I’ve known this boy since his childhood. He has been a loner and can never be a team player,” he remarked, adding, “That’s what his real character is.”Going by Tuesday’s tantrum, Amarinder appeared to be spot on in describing his rival. It’s well known that Sidhu returned home midway through the Test tour of England in 1996 following differences with the then India captain Mohammad Azharuddin. 

Right through his playing days, including an international career that spanned nearly 16 years, Sidhu was never part of the leadership group. While his temperamental behaviour was seen as a reason, his teammates also felt he was never the one to take responsibility. “He would be the last one to put his hand up and say, ‘let me do this.’ He will always be hesitant if he is asked to bat out of position. He has done it, but he will always voice his opinion before doing it,” said a former teammate. 

He also recalled how Sidhu was always moody. He usually kept to himself in the dressing room. “You wouldn’t know if he is around because he used to be the silent guy,” he said. “At the same time, during the England tour, he showed he won’t tolerate if someone keeps undermining him. He has a personality which is hard to understand at times,” he added. 

For a batsman who scored Test centuries in West Indies and Pakistan, two of the toughest teams during Sidhu’s playing career, teammates also pointed out how he would be nervous, and at times even reluctant to walk into the middle. “But once he walks in, he is determined and would put his head down and get the job done. Mind you, he made some tough runs against Imran Khan’s team too. So he is tough inside.”