Kirti Azad

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Kirti Azad
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
16 May 2009  23 May 2019
Succeeded byGopal Jee Thakur
Personal details
Kirtivardhan Bhagwat Jha Azad

(1959-01-02) 2 January 1959 (age 61)
Darbhanga, Bihar, India
Political partyIndian National Congress (18 February 2019 – present)
Spouse(s)Poonam Azad
FatherBhagwat Jha Azad
Cricket information
BowlingRight-arm offbreak
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 150)21 February 1981 v New Zealand
Last Test12 November 1983 v West Indies
ODI debut (cap 29)6 December 1980 v Australia
Last ODI18 April 1986 v Pakistan
Domestic team information
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 7 25 142 72
Runs scored 135 269 6,634 1521
Batting average 11.25 14.15 39.48 27.16
100s/50s 0/0 -/- 20/27 0/8
Top score 24 39* 215 94
Balls bowled 750 390 15420 2086
Wickets 3 7 234 50
Bowling average 124.33 39.00 30.72 27.48
5 wickets in innings - - 5 -
10 wickets in match - - - -
Best bowling 2/84 2/48 7/63 3/16
Catches/stumpings 3/- 7/- 95/- 22/-
Source: ESPNCricinfo, 19 August 2014

Kirtivardhan Bhagwat Jha Azad pronunciation  (born 2 January 1959)[1] is a politician and former cricketer and who played 7 Tests and 25 ODIs for India between 1980 and 1986.

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.[2]

He won the 2014 Lok Sabha election for Darbhanga, Bihar. In February 2019, Kirti Azad joined Indian National Congress.[3]

Domestic career

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.

International career

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.[4] 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,[5] 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.[6] He won the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections from Darbhanga.[7] 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.[8] Azad joined the Indian National Congress on 18 February 2019.[9] 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.

Personal life

Azad is married to Poonam and has two sons.[10] 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.[11][12]

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.[13]

Views on IPL

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.[14] 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.


  1. R. C. Rajamani (2000). Portraits of India's Parliamentarians for the New Millennium: Lok Sabha. Gyan Pub. House. p. 131. ISBN 978-81-212-0692-1.
  2. "Kirti Azad". Cricinfo. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  3. "Rebel BJP MP Kirti Azad joins Congress". The Hindu. 18 February 2019.
  4. "Kirti Azad". Retrieved 20 May 2012.
  6. "A veteran-newcomer fight at Gole Market". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  8. "Kirti Azad Suspended By BJP For Publicly Targeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley". NDTV. Retrieved 24 December 2015.
  9. "Cricketer-turned-politician Kirti Azad joins Congress". Times of India. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
  10. "Detailed Profile: Shri Kirti (Jha) Azad". National Portal of India. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  11. "Surya Azad". CricketArchive. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
  12. "Somyavardhan Azad". CricketArchive. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  13. "Kirti Azad's wife Poonam Azad Jha quits AAP, joins Congress". Economic Times. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  14. PTI (20 May 2012). "Kirti Azad begins hunger fast against IPL". IBNLive. Retrieved 21 May 2012.


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