As a kid, Navjot Singh Sidhu dreamed of playing for India, just like so many youngsters. But when you strive for glory, there are always obstacles in your path. His story is one that can inspire anyone who has struggled hard to make it big. His dedication proves how never giving up finally pays off. Life was against him, but he chose to kick it in the balls and carry on.

Here’s why Navjot Singh Sidhu’s life depicts courage like no one else’s:

1. In 1983, when he wasn’t selected for the Indian team, an article published in The Indian Express by Rajan Bala that read: “Sidhu: The Strokeless wonder”. He cut it out and put it on his wardrobe for inspiration everyday.

Aged only 20, he saw his father cry after Navjot wasn’t picked for the Indian team.

the hindu

2. It was then when he decided that he will play for India one day no matter what and make his father proud.


3. He would then wake up at 4 am everyday, go to the ground, roll the pitch and even water it. All by himself.


4. To avoid any distraction, he started living a simple life. He did not wear any coloured clothing for the next 4 years.


5. He ate only 1 square meal during the day, slept for an hour and headed back to the ground again to practice.


6. He hit 300 sixes everyday. It would make his hands bleed, but even that wouldn’t stop him.

He had to design special gloves which would soak the blood.


7. As if playing in the day was not enough, he had lights installed in his backyard where he practiced strokes all night.


8. He used his pocket money to buy chocolates for youngsters who would bowl at full pace to him from 15 yards.

Effectively, the ball came at the same pace as fast bowlers of those times like Malcolm Marshall.


9. The ball would hit him several times but he did not budge from his task. His focus remained the same; playing for India.


10. In the 2nd year of his rigorous routine, his father passed away. Heartbroken, he still soldiered on.

He believed in his father’s words: “Character is not made in a crisis, it is exhibited.”


11. 4 years later, he was picked for the Indian Squad for the 1987 World Cup where he scored 5 fifties in a row. A world record that stands till date!


12. After the World Cup, he read another article in The Khaleej Times by the same author Rajan Bala. The article had a huge picture of him and his father & the headline read: “Sidhu: From Strokeless Wonder To A Palm-Grove Hitter. What A Change!”

His hard work had paid off.


All the information above was sourced from a speech that Sidhu gave on “Courage” at the Discoun 2010 . In his speech he said:

“Courage is not the absence of fear, it is the conquest of fear!”

We know he lives by it and that he will conquer his illness as well. We wish him a speed recovery.