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Match On – Spirited Sidhu Versus Charismatic Captain

You may love him or hate him but you can hardly ignore him. That is the message Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh may have learnt from his long running feud with the cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu. The maverick opener’s innings as politician has transformed into a formidable presence from a quiet beginning much like his cricket career in which he was dubbed the “Strokeless Wonder” before he trained himself to become “Sixer Sidhu.” Debuting in the World Cup 1987 in Chennai, he thrashed the defending Aussies for an explosive 73, studded with five sixes. This was followed by three consecutive half centuries, all marked by the big hits that have become the staple of white ball cricket today. Having called truce in the war for Punjab Congress turf, the Gandhis are still seen encouraging younger Sidhu, 57, against Captain, 79, though the latter was the powerful regional chieftain who brought them to power in a big state. Sidhu’s threat of leaving for the AAP seems to have rattled the younger Gandhis who backed him to the hilt against the stalwart CM. Now Captain is scurrying to New Delhi to complain once again that Sidhu is still baiting him in public even after he had conceded ground to allow Sidhu to become the Congress Committee chief in Punjab. Truth is Sidhu will never tire of speaking.