Navjot Singh Sidhu Returns to Commentary for IPL 2024

Navjot Singh Sidhu

After returning to the commentary Panel for the IPL 2024 after a decade, Navjot Singh Sidhu opens on the return of MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant to competitive cricket.

Navjot Singh Sidhu Returns to Commentary for IPL 2024

Sidhu is set to be back on the air with the start of IPL and says the Indian league will help to decide the squad for the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 not only for India but also for other countries.

“The IPL will set the tone for the World Cup. There is no other cricket happening. The eyes of the world are on IPL. This is where you can snatch a berth for the T20 World Cup, not only Indians, even the foreign players,” said Sidhu on Media.

While asked about the veteran batters in the T20 squad for the upcoming World Cup he backed Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.”They will be needed there. These are giants of the cricketing world. The form is like the morning dew, it can elude you but class of these people has the stamp of authority.

He spoke about Virat Kohli who has not played in the T20 format since the World Cup 2022 saying, “I would rate Kohli as the greatest Indian batsman for the simple reason, his fitness, he is getting fitter with age like old wine does.”

“Technically very sound and he has the uncanny knack of adapting to all three formats, same goes for Rohit,” Sidhu explained in his inimitable style.

“Both are quality players. I am not sure about Rohit’s fitness levels. With age, you tend to slow down, and your reflexes tend to go. Sehwag with those glasses, his reflexes were not the same, I saw it in the IPL.”

He also spoke about India’s performance in the ODI World Cup last year where they ended up as runners despite having a successful run in group stages.

“In the recent World Cup they were playing very well, they just had one bad game, one bad game cannot asses the fortunes of a team. I see the Indian team ruling the roost for a long time because the system that breeds cricketers is very congenial and conducive.

“In my time, people would carry on despite bad form because there were no replacements. Now, Hardik Pandya is replacing Rohit Sharma as Mumbai Indians captain because he has performed so well.

“Not that it is derogatory to Rohit but it is just a thought process. The old order must change yielding place to the new,” said Sidhu.

While asked about his return to the commentary box after a decade, he expressed his emotions. “Boss, cricket is my first love. If your hobby becomes your profession there is nothing better than that. A duckling would never forget how to swim, I will take to commentary like a fish takes to water.”

When asked if the sense of humor kept him going during the turbulent phases of his life, Sidhu said,

“The secret of my life is that I switch on and switch off. It was difficult for me to switch off from politics but then the age of miracles has not passed. The difficult is done at once, the impossible takes a little while longer.

“The mental fortitude will sail me through any situation now. In cricket, I have made 20-odd comebacks, this is my first comeback to commentary. I was in the swing of things from 1999 to 2014-15 (commentary).

“A gem cannot be polished without friction nor a man perfected without trials,” Sidhu went on, the way only he can.

His commentary in the early years of IPL made him a prominent face in the entertainment world where he was paid well to appear in comedy shows.

“I left cricket and joined commentary and I did not know if this is something I could do. I was not very confident (initially) but 10-15 days into the World Cup, the word Sidhuism came up. I was walking in a lane no one was walking. It was the lane of Sidhuism.

“From Rs 60-70 lakh for the whole tournament, I was taking Rs 25 lakh per day in IPL. The satisfaction was not with money, the satisfaction was that time would fly. It was beautiful,” Sidhu concluded.

The 17th edition of the IPL tournament is only two days away and the players participating in the tournament have either joined or are set to join the franchise for a pre-season camp.

With all teams in their preparations phase, the first match of the IPL 2024 schedule will feature the clash between CSK and RCB on March 22 at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.