|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
16 May 2009 – 23 May 2019
|Succeeded by||Gopal Jee Thakur|
Kirtivardhan Bhagwat Jha Azad
2 January 1959
Darbhanga, Bihar, India
|Political party||Indian National Congress (18 February 2019 – present)|
|Father||Bhagwat Jha Azad|
|Test debut (cap 150)||21 February 1981 v New Zealand|
|Last Test||12 November 1983 v West Indies|
|ODI debut (cap 29)||6 December 1980 v Australia|
|Last ODI||18 April 1986 v Pakistan|
|Domestic team information|
Source: ESPNCricinfo, 19 August 2014
Azad was born in Darbhanga, Bihar, the son of former Chief Minister of Bihar Bhagwat Jha Azad. He was an aggressive right-hand batsman and a quickish offspinner. A surprise choice for the tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1980-81, he made his Test debut at Wellington. The highlight of his career was being part of the Indian team that won the 1983 Cricket World Cup.
He won the 2014 Lok Sabha election for Darbhanga, Bihar. In February 2019, Kirti Azad joined Indian National Congress.
He attended Modern School in Delhi where he was part of the school cricket team. Azad, a nonconformist in many ways[further explanation needed], was a stalwart allrounder for Delhi for many years, and in 95 Ranji Trophy matches he scored 4867 runs at an average of 47.72 and took 162 wickets at and average of 28.91. His highest score was 215 against Himachal Pradesh in 1985-86.
He was a surprise choice for the tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1980-81, making his Test debut at Wellington. He then played three Tests without much success against England in 1981-82 and was then ignored until he was picked for the 1983 World Cup. Azad had his day in the sun when he played a leading part in India winning the semi-final against England, when he helped bottle up the middle order with his fastish off-breaks and earned a bonus while bowling the dangerous Ian Botham.
Azad also played a memorable innings against Pakistan in 1983 at New Delhi, in an exhibition day/night match. Pakistan batted first and made 197 runs for 3 wickets in 50 overs with Azad taking all 3 wickets. In India's reply, Kirti scored a rapid 71 not-out and steered India to a one-wicket victory. He hit seven sixes, including three consecutive sixes off Pakistani medium pacer Jalaluddin. But he met with no success in three Tests against Pakistan and West Indies and was discarded.
Later he followed his father Bhagwat Jha Azad, former Chief Minister of Bihar, into politics and was elected to Parliament on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Darbhanga, Bihar. He served his third term in the Lok Sabha representing Darbhanga. He was previously an MLA from Delhi's Gole Market constituency. He won the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections from Darbhanga. On 23 December 2015 he was suspended from BJP for openly targeting Union finance minister Arun Jaitley over alleged irregularities and corruption in Delhi's cricket body Delhi and District Cricket Association. Azad joined the Indian National Congress on 18 February 2019. He fought General Election from Dhanbad Lok Sabha constituency for 2019 representing Indian National Congress, against BJP candidate Pashupati Nath Singh and lost it with a margin of 4.8 lakhs.
Azad is married to Poonam and has two sons. His elder son Suryavardhan has played for Delhi Under-17s, Under-19s and Under-22s, while his younger son Somyavardhan has played for Delhi Under-15s and Delhi Under-17s.
His wife Poonam joined Aam Aadmi Party on 13 Nov 2016, which she then quit on 11 Apr 2017 to join the Indian National Congress.
Following a 2012 sting operation on players of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Azad came out in opposition of the tournament and demanded that it be banned. Speaking about the Indian T20 team, he reportedly alleged that the players played for self rather than the country. He further said that he felt agitated and ashamed to be associated with the BCCI in the wake of the IPL controversy.
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