Ajaysinhji "Ajay" Jadeja ( pronunciation born 1 February 1971 in Jamnagar, Gujarat), is a former Indian cricketer, who has been a regular member in the Indian cricket team between 1992 and 2000. He played 15 Test matches and 196 One Day Internationals for India.
His cricketing achievements were overshadowed by a 5-year ban for match-fixing. The ban was later quashed by the Delhi High Court on 27 January 2003, making Jadeja eligible to play domestic and international cricket. He was most remembered for hitting and quick finishing of the overs in late 1990s.
Jadeja was born into an erstwhile Nawanagar royal family which has a cricketing pedigree. His relatives include K. S. Ranjitsinhji, after whom the Ranji Trophy is named, and K. S. Duleepsinhji, for whom the Duleep Trophy is named. Jadeja is married to Aditi Jaitly, the daughter of Jaya Jaitly and the couple have two children, Aiman and Ameera.
Jadeja was a regular in the Indian cricket team between 1992 and 2000, playing 15 Test matches and 196 One Day Internationals. He was regarded as one of the best fielders in the Indian team in his time. One of his most memorable innings was his cameo in the 1996 Cricket World Cup quarter-final In Bengaluru against arch rivals Pakistan when he blasted 45 off 25 balls, including 40 from the final two overs by Waqar Younis. Jadeja, along with Mohammed Azharuddin, holds the record for the highest one day partnership record for the 4th and 5th wicket, set against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka respectively. Jadeja was also renowned for his remarkable fielding, and was considered one of the safest pair of hands in the Indian team during his tenure.
Another memorable occasion of his career was taking 3 wickets for 3 runs in 1 over against England in Sharjah to win the match for India. Jadeja has captained India in 13 One-day matches. One of Jadeja's favourite hunting grounds was the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, the venue of the quarter-final against Pakistan in the 1996 World Cup. The last time Jadeja played in a One Day International was against Pakistan in the Pepsi Asia Cup on 3 June 2000. He scored 93 in a game that India eventually lost. Jadeja was the top scorer hitting 8 fours and 4 sixes.
Jadeja's cricketing achievements were later overshadowed by a 5-year ban for match-fixing. The ban was later quashed by the Delhi High Court on 27 January 2003, making Jadeja eligible to play domestic and international cricket. Jadeja had approached the Delhi High Court on 2 February 2001, challenging the BCCI order imposing the five-year ban on the basis of the K. Madhavan Committee recommendations. He is back playing Ranji in 2013.
In 2015, Jadeja was appointed as the main coach for Delhi cricket team but he resigned from the post. Jadeja is currently a cricket commentator.
Jadeja acted in the 2003 movie Khel with Sunny Deol and Sunil Shetty. He also acted in the 2009 movie, Pal Pal Dil Ke Saath, directed by V Krishna Kumar.
Jadeja worked for Zee News as a cricket anchor, along with Zaheer Abbas, the former Pakistan cricket captain, during the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup. He reprised the role for the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup. Later, he signed to work as a cricket analyst with NDTV India and NDTV 24*7.
Jadeja was a contestant on the celebrity dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa in its first season. He also appeared on the TV show Comedy Circus.
He did a cameo in Abhishek Kapoor's film Kai Po Che! acting as himself in a cricket commentator role .