Kirti Azad is a former Indian cricketer and a politician who played 7 Tests and 25 ODIs from 1980 to 1986 for the Indian Cricket team. He is the son of INC veteran Bhagwat Jha Azad, a former Chief Minister of Bihar. Azad is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC).
Kirti Azad was born on Friday, 2 January 1959 (age 61 years; as in 2020), in Darbhanga Bihar. His full name is Kirtivardhan Bhagwat Jha Azad. His zodiac sign is Capricorn. Azad completed his primary education from the Modern School in Delhi and simultaneously used to play for the school cricket team. He attained a BA History (Hons) degree from the renowned St. Stephens College of Delhi University in 1981. The all-rounder has played 7 test matches and 25 ODIs for India from 1980 to 1986. He was also a part of the Indian cricket team that won the 1983 ODI Cricket World Cup. While still playing Ranji Trophy matches, at 34, Azad stepped into politics by joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1993. In 2015, BJP suspended him for involving in anti-party activities. Later, he joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in February 2019.
Height (approx.): 5′ 11″
Hair Colour: Salt & Pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
Kirti Azad belongs to a Hindu family.
Parents and Siblings
His father, Shri Bhagwat Jha Azad was a six-time member of the Lok Sabha from Bhagalpur and a former Bihar CM. Bhagwat passed away in 2011 due to prolonged illness.
His mother, Smt. Indira Jha Azad died in 2009. His Brother Dr Rajvardhan Azad is a former chief professor of ophthalmology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, as the chairman of the revived Bihar state university service commission.
Wife & Children
Kirti is married to Poonam Azad, a former AAP politician, and currently a member of the Indian National Congress (INC).
His younger son, Somya Vardhan, is a businessman, whereas the elder one, Surya Vardhan works at an MNC in Singapore. Both of his sons have played cricket for Delhi in their younger days.
All-rounder Kirti Azad was an aggressive right-hand batsman and an off-spinner.
He got his first national call-up for the 1980/81 India’s tour of Australia and New Zealand. In December 1980, he made his ODI debut against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup 1980/81. Unfortunately, he could score just 4 runs in that game. The same year, he made his test cricket debut against New Zealand in Wellington. He scored 20 runs and 16 runs in two innings as India lost the game by 62 runs. He played the first three Tests of the 6-match series during England’s tour of India in 1981/82. However, he scored a total of 71 runs in 4 innings and was dropped from the Indian team. He was then picked to play in the historic 1983 cricket world cup.
His international career summed up in 7 test matches and 25 ODIs. Despite not tasting success at the international level, Kirti Azad remained a pillar of strength for Delhi cricket. In 95 Ranji games, he scored 4867 runs at an average of 47.72. He also took 162 wickets, averaging 28.91 in his bowling figures.
Kirti Azad stepped into politics in 1993 and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. He served as an MLA from Delhi’s Gole Market constituency from 1993-98. He was then elected as the Member of Parliament on a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket from Darbhanga, Bihar in 1999. He was re-elected as the MP Darbhanga in 2009. Between 2009 to 2014, he also served as the Member of House Committee, Member of Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, Member of Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, Member of Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, Member of Joint Committee on Security in Parliament Complex Member, Khadi and Village Industries Corporation and Member of Youth Affairs & Sports, Advisory Committee. In 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, he again won the MP seat from Darbhanga, Bihar.
On 23 December 2015, he was suspended from BJP for anti-party activities. On 18 February 2019, Azad joined the Indian National Congress (INC).
He contested for the 2019 General Elections from Dhanbad Lok Sabha constituency representing Indian National Congress, against the BJP candidate Pashupati Nath Singh. However, he lost by a huge margin of 4.8 lakh votes.
It is highly impossible for a politician to stay out of controversies in India. Here are a few controversies in which Kirti Azad was involved:
- From the year 2011 to 2015, he kept claiming that there has been rampant financial corruption in the functioning of Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA). He accused his own party member of BJP, Arun Jaitley, who has headed DDCA for 14 years for being actively involved in the scam. He also raised the same issue in Lok Sabha, while being a member of the BJP.
In December 2015, he was suspended from the BJP for anti-party activities. The Hindu After being suspended, the former cricketer said, “I raised the issue of Rs 400 crore scam in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) with documents to back his claims, but, I was ‘back-stabbed’ by the party.”
- In February 2019, just three days after joining INC, Azad claimed that members of congress looted polling booths for him and his father during the 80s and the 90s elections. Later, realising his mistake, he apologised and said,
I am sorry. In the heat of the moment, and in an over-excited mood, I made such remarks so as to boost the morale of the Congress workers. Actually, I wanted to say booth management, but somehow got carried away.”
- Allegedly, many cricket experts hold that Azad made to the Indian cricket team as his father, Bhagwat Jha Azad was then a Union Minister and CM of Bihar. Outlook
- The 1983 Cricket World Cup holds a special place in Kirti’s heart.
- Kirti Azad featured in a Hindi movie ‘Kirket’ released in 2019.
- In an interview given to the Lallantop, Azad explained how his father, a veteran congressman asked him to leave his house within three months when he joined BJP and became an MLA.