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Mr.Kirtivardhan Azad
Cricket Player, ex-MP and Member, Cricket Control Association of Bihar

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Kirti Azad

Mr.Kirtivardhan Azad, is ex-cricketer, Indian off-spin all-rounder and presently represents Cricket Control Association of Bihar. He is a graduate in History (Hons) from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi.

Mr.Azad was born in Purnia (Bihar) on January 2, 1959. His father, Bhagwat Jha Azad, was the Chief Minister of Bihar and ex-Central Minister, Govt of India. Kirti also followed his father into politics and was elected to Parliament from Darbhanga on a BJP ticket. He is also ex-MLA from Gole Market, Dilli. His elder brother Yashvardhan Azad is senior police officer.

Kirti Azad was an aggressive right-hand batsman and a quickish off-spinner. A surprise choice for the tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1980-81, he made his Test debut at Wellington. He then played three Tests without much success against England in 1981-82 and was then ignored till he was picked for the World Cup in 1983. 

Azad had his day 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 offbreaks and earned a bonus while bowling the dangerous Ian Botham.

Azad, was a stalwart allrounder for Delhi for years and in 95 Ranji Trophy matches he scored 4867 runs (47.72) and took 162 wickets (28.91). His highest score was 215 against Himachal Pradesh in 1985-86.

Kirti takes an important place in Indian cricket history, being a key member of the Kapil's team that took the World Cup of 1983. He represented 7 tests and 25 ODIs for India. He was also the selector for Indian cricket team for some years.

Kirti Azad played a memorable knock on 24th December, 1984 at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi, an unofficial match (day and night) where India squeezed out an almost-impossible victory against Pakistan. Kirti scored a magnificent 71, not-out, and steered India to a one-wicket victory over there arch-rivals. He scored many sixes in the knock, the most memorable over being where he hit Pakistani medium pacer Jalaluddin for 3 consecutive sixes.

Posted by: Rajan Prakash on May 15, 2006

Last Modified on: May 24, 2006