|Full name||Mohammad Azharuddin|
|Born||8 February 1963 (1963-02-08) |
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Batting style||Right-handed batsman|
|Bowling style||Right-arm medium|
|Test debut (cap 169)||30 December 1984 v England|
|Last Test||2 March 2000 v South Africa|
|ODI debut (cap 51)||20 January 1985 v England|
|Last ODI||3 June 2000 v Pakistan|
|Domestic team information|
|5 wickets in innings||–||0||0||0|
|10 wickets in match||–||n/a||0||n/a|
|Source: CricketArchive, 13 February 2009|
Mohammad Azharuddin (born 8 February 1963, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh) also known as Azhar, is an Indian politician and former cricketer. He was an accomplished batsman and captained the Indian cricket team for much of the 1990s, until his involvement in a match-fixing scandal forced him into retirement. A member of the Indian National Congress, Azharuddin won election from the Moradabad constituency of Uttar Pradesh to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India.
In his prime, he had a graceful, fluid batting style, comparable to that of his English contemporary, David Gower and Australian batsman Greg Chappell. The wrist flick was his most characteristic shot and he fared best against spinners. The grace and fluidity of his wrist once prompted John Woodcock, a noted cricket writer, to say, "It's no use asking an Englishman to bat like Mohammad Azharuddin. For, it would be like expecting a greyhound to win the London Derby!" Former Indian captain and International umpire Venkataraghavan said that "Azharuddin had the best wrists in the game, but Tendulkar isn't too far behind" while praising Sachin Tendulkar. . In Oct 2010, Sri Lankan legend Muralitharan called him one of the best players in cricket on par with Sachin Tendulkar.
Azhar, as he is popularly known, grew up in Hyderabad and attended a catholic convent boys school All Saints High School in Hyderabad. Indian cricketers such as Venkatapathy Raju and Noel David have also attended the same school.
Family and Personal lifeAzharuddin is allegedly seeing acclaimed Indian badminton player, Jwala Gutta, while still being married to former Miss India turned actress Sangeeta Bijlani. This was his second marriage, after he divorced his first wife Naureen, with whom he had two sons, Asad and Ayaz.
Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin's son Ayazuddin has died in Hyderabad, succumbing to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident.
HighlightsAzhar scored a total of 22 centuries in Test cricket at an average of 45, and 7 in ODIs at an average of 37. He has distinction of scoring a century in each of his first three Tests - a feat unmatched till date. An excellent fielder, he took 156 catches in ODI cricket which was a world record until Mahela Jayawarden surpassed him. He held world records for maximum ODI runs and fastest ODI hundred. He also has probably unique record of scoring centuries in his first and last Test.
During India's 1990 Test series in England, he came in to bat when his team was facing the prospect of following on and scored an aggressive century in just 87 balls. Many regard this as his best innings ever. India saved follow on but lost the match and the series.
He was given out LBW for 199 in a Test match against Sri Lanka and it was his highest Test score.
Eden Gardens, Kolkata proved to be happy hunting ground for Azhar where he scored 5 centuries in 7 Tests at a whopping average of 107.50
In 1991 he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year and was for many years an inspirational figure in the Indian team with his athletic fielding and leadership.
Azhar eventually stranded one short of 100 Tests milestone following unfortunate events that led to his retirement.
CaptaincyAzharuddin was captain of the Indian team for most of the 1990s. Statistically he is one of India's most successful captains. He won 103 ODI matches as the captain of the Indian team, which is still an Indian record. His 14 Test Match wins as captain, was a record until it was bettered by Sourav Ganguly.
Match fixing scandalTowards the end of his career Azharuddin was accused of match-fixing; South African captain Hansie Cronje in his confession for match-fixing had indicated that Azharuddin was the one to introduce him to the bookies. India's premier investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation & published a report.
Quoting from the report -
Has been the only player to have hit three consecutive centuries in first three Tests ,Has scored fastest ODI century by an Indian off 62 balls ,The first player to have played more than 300 ODIs .
The Batting Maestro
Azharuddin has been most famous for his wonderful wrist flicks that transformed a Cricket match into a poetic creation with aesthetic nuances of a masterpiece. Eventually, Azharuddin showed the best of his batting capabilities against spin bowlers. In fact, John Woodcock, one of the well known Cricket writers had once quoted that asking an Englishman to bat like Mohammad Azharuddin would be like expecting a greyhound to win the London Derby! His smooth and clean batting style was often compared with the same of David Gower, a batsman from England.
Azharuddin hit with life ban | date=5 December 2000 | accessdate=27 March 2010}}</ref> and this led the BCCI to ban him from the game of cricket for life in 2000. The BCCI lifted the ban on Azharuddin in 2006 and even honoured him along with other Indian Test captains in a ceremony in Mumbai during the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy. The ICC, however, claimed that it alone had the right to revoke the ban despite playing no role in handing out the original ban.
In one of his interviews, he claimed that he was being targeted because he was from a minority community. However, this statement backfired badly and invited severe criticism from all parts of the country, including prominent minority community organisations in India. Ultimately, Azharuddin had to apologise publicly and retract his statements.
The ban cost him the chance to join the 100 Test club, in the end finishing stranded on 99 Test matches.
Political careerAzharuddin formally joined the Indian National Congress party on February 19, 2009. He contested the Indian general election, 2009 from Moradabad in western Uttar Pradesh. He won the elections as a candidate of Indian National Congress party by defeating his nearest BJP rival Sarvesh Kumar Singh with a margin of more than 50,000 votes. He has promised to construct a University and a Stadium as well in Moradabad. He has also promised to improve the City's Electricity Problem
Former Indian cricket skipper Mohammed Azharuddin addressing to the media at a press conference after joining the Congress party in New Delhi on February 19, 2009. Also seen Veerappa Moily (C), Congress leader in the picture.
Former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin (L) shakes hands with former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf during an interactive session of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India meeting in New Delhi on March 8, 2009
- 780 runs at 39.00 with 2 hundreds
- 1278 runs at 58.09 with 6 hundreds
- 796 runs at 61.23 with 2 hundreds
- 769 runs at 40.47 with 3 hundreds
- 779 runs at 41.00 with 4 hundreds
- 1215 runs at 55.23 with 5 hundreds
- 539 runs at 28.37 with 0 hundreds
- 59 runs at 14.75 with 0 hundreds
- 6215 runs at 45.04 with 22 hundreds
Rival captains Mohammed Azharuddin and Wasim Akram hold aloft the Pepsi Cup as joint winners after winning a match each of the two-test match series at Feroze Shah Kotla grounds in New Delhi on February 7, 1999
Lok Sabha Session: Member of Lok Sabha Mohammed Azharuddin arrives to attend the first session of 15th Lok Sabha, on its opening day, at Parliament House, New Delhi on June 01, 2009. The session began with the swearing-in of the newly elected Members of Lok Sabha.
List of centuries
Source : Wikipedia, Times content