Ajaysinhji Daulatsinhji Jadeja was born on 1 February 1971 in Jamnagar, Gujarat in a Rajput family. He was a regular in the Indian cricket team between 1992 and 2000, playing in 15 Test matches and 196 One Day Internationals. 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.
Jadeja was born into the Rajput royal family of Nawanagar, now Jamnagar, which has a cricketing pedigree, producing the likes of K. S. Ranjitsinhji and K. S. Duleepsinhji.
Jadeja was a regular in the Indian cricket team between 1992 and 2000, playing in 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 remembered innings was his cameo innings in 1996 Cricket World Cup quarter-final 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.
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.
Jadeja is currently the coach of Rajasthan and a cricket commentator.
Jadeja has acted in the 2003 movie, Khel, along with Sunil Shetty. He acted in the 2009 movie, Pal Pal Dil Ke Saath, directed by V Krishna Kumar.
Ajay Jadeja was a contestant on the celebrity dance show Jhalak Dikhla Ja in its first season. He also appeared on the TV show Comedy Circus.
Over the last few years, Jadeja has been working with NDTV as their cricket analyst. Until 2007-08, Jadeja shared this position with his former teammate Navjot Singh Sidhu. However, following Sidhu’s departure from the channel, Jadeja has become one of the pillars of sports journalism on both NDTV India and NDTV 24*7.
Ajay Jadeja is married to Aditi Jaitly, daughter of former Samata Party president Jaya Jaitly and Ashok Jaitly, former Chief Secretary, J&K.