Mohammad Azharuddin

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Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin (1).jpg
Personal information
Full name
Mohammad Azizuddin Azharuddin
Born (1963-02-08) 8 February 1963 (age 60)
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, (now Telangana, India)
NicknameAzhar, Ajju, Azzu, Miyan [1]
Height179 cm (5 ft 10 in)[2]
BowlingRight-arm medium
RelationsMohammad Asaduddin (son)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 169)31 December 1984 v England
Last Test2 March 2000 v South Africa
ODI debut (cap 51)20 January 1985 v England
Last ODI3 June 2000 v Pakistan
Domestic team information
1983–2001South Zone
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 99 334 229 433
Runs scored 6,215 9,378 15,855 12,941
Batting average 45.03 36.92 51.98 39.33
100s/50s 22/21 7/58 54/74 11/85
Top score 199 153* 226 161*
Balls bowled 13 552 1432 827
Wickets 0 12 17 15
Bowling average 98.44 46.23 47.26
5 wickets in innings 0 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 0 0
Best bowling 3/19 3/36 3/19
Catches/stumpings 105/– 156/– 220/– 200/–
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 13 February 2009
Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha
In office
16 May 2009 (2009-05-16) – 16 May 2014 (2014-05-16)
Preceded byShafiqur Rahman Barq
Succeeded byKunwar Sarvesh Kumar Singh
27th President of Hyderabad Cricket Association
Assumed office
27 September 2019
Preceded byDr. G Vivikanand
Working President of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee
Assumed office
2 June 2014
National President Indian National CongressSonia Gandhi
Personal details
Political partyIndian National Congress
  • Naureen
    (m. 1987; div. 1996)
  • (m. 1996; div. 2010)

Mohammad Azharuddin (born 8 February 1963) is an Indian politician and a former international cricketer and former captain of India national cricket team. He is the working president of the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee and was the member of parliament for Moradabad. He played 99 Test matches and 334 One Day Internationals for the Indian national cricket team before his international career came to an end after he was found to have been involved in a match fixing scandal in 2000 and subsequently banned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India for life. In 2012, the Andhra Pradesh High Court lifted the life ban.[3] As captain, he led India to being the champions of both the 1990-91 Asia Cup, the 1995 Asia Cup, along with the semi-finals of the 1996 Cricket World Cup.

In 2009, Azharuddin was elected as a member of the parliament for Moradabad on an Indian National Congress party ticket.[4] In September 2019, Azharuddin was elected as the president of Hyderabad Cricket Association.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Azharuddin was born on 8 February 1963. He was born in Hyderabad to Mohammad Azizuddin and Yousuf Sultana. He attended All Saints High School and graduated from Nizam College, Osmania University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.[6] Azharuddin married his first wife Naureen in 1987 and they had two sons, Asaduddin and Ayazuddin. Ayazuddin died in a bike accident in 2011.[7] After 9 years of marriage to Naureen, Azharuddin confessed of his relationship with actress Sangita Bijlani whom he said he fell in love with at first sight during an ad shoot in 1985. Subsequently, Azharuddin divorced Naureen and married Bijlani in 1996. They were married for fourteen years before they separated due to Azharuddin's rumoured affairs with multiple people, notably female badminton player Jwala Gutta. Azharuddin married Shannon Marie, his third wife, secretly. He recently[when?]revealed his marriage to her.[8][9]

Cricket career[edit]

Azharuddin was known for his wristy strokeplay, much like Indian cricketer Gundappa Viswanath and Pakistani cricketer Zaheer Abbas. He made his debut for the Indian cricket team in Test cricket in 1984 against England at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on 31 December 1984, where he scored 110 in his first innings from 322 deliveries, alongside Ravi Shastri who scored 111, in what was ultimately a drawn match. He subsequently scored two more centuries in his next two Test matches. He scored 121 against England at Lord's in 1990. India was faced with the prospect of a follow-on when Azharuddin came in to bat at number five and scored his hundred off 88 balls in a losing cause. Former England cricketer Vic Marks called it "the most dazzling Test century" he had ever witnessed, in his column for The Observer.[10] In the Second Test in Manchester, Azharuddin made 179 in reply to England's first innings total of 519. Playing attacking cricket, he made 103 runs off 107 balls between lunch and tea on day three, while putting on a 112-run stand with Sachin Tendulkar. Playing his 39th Test, he reached his 10th Test century off 155 balls.[11] The match ended in a draw.[12] Azharuddin ended the series with 426 runs at 85.20.[13] This tally was the highest by an Asian captain in a Test series in England until 2018 when it was broken by Virat Kohli.[14]

Azharuddin scored a record-equalling century for an Indian player in the Second Test at Calcutta during South Africa's India tour in 1996–97. In reply to South Africa's first innings score of 428, Azharuddin brought up his century off 74 deliveries, equalling Kapil Dev's record for the fastest Test century by an India player and fourth overall, in terms of balls faced.[15][16] Resuming batting on day three on the fall of Javagal Srinath's wicket after retiring hurt the previous evening, Azharuddin reached 50 in 35 balls, then the second fastest for India and scored 91 runs in the first session of play. He struck a 161-run partnership with Anil Kumble for the eighth wicket, another India national record, "hooking and pulling" while dealing with his "weakness against the short-pitched delivery". He particularly attacked Lance Klusener scoring 20 runs off his 14th over. It was his fourth century at this venue and 15th overall.[16][15] However, India was handed one of its biggest defeats despite another attacking innings by Azharuddin in the fourth innings.[17] Azharuddin followed this up with a second-innings century in the next Test, also the last, of the series. He made an unbeaten 163 and helped his team record their hitherto biggest win in Test history in terms of runs (280).[18] He was named the man of the match, and the series.[19] He aggregated 388 runs for the series at 77.60.[20]

Predominantly a middle order batsman, Azharuddin was known for his attacking brand of cricket and strong slip catching, though continuously struggled against the short ball. Azharuddin played 99 test matches for India and scored 6,215 runs at an average of 45.03, including 22 centuries and 21 half-centuries. His record in One Day Internationals (ODIs) was 9,378 runs from 334 matches at an average of 36.92. As a fielder, he took 156 catches in ODI cricket. Azharuddin started his career with a 110 against England in Kolkata in 1984 and ended with a 102 against South Africa in Banglaore in 2000 thus, becoming the only Indian and the fifth batsman ever to score a century in his first and last Test matches.

Azharuddin was convicted of match fixing in 2000, and banned for life by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). During India's 2000 tour of South Africa, a series that was won by India 3–2, Azharuddin scored 112 runs at an average of 28.[21] Other key Indian cricketers whom Azharuddin groomed and also brought into the match-fixing fold displayed similarly dismal performances.


Azharuddin became the captain of the Indian team, succeeding Krishnamachari Srikkanth in 1989. He led the Indian team in 47 Test matches and 174 One Day Internationals. He led the team to victory in 90 ODIs, the highest until surpassed by MS Dhoni on 2 September 2014.[22] His 14 test match wins as captain was a record until it was beaten by Sourav Ganguly, who has 21 test match wins to his name.[23]

Match fixing[edit]

Azharuddin was accused of match fixing in the match fixing scandal in 2000.[24] The CBI report states that Azharuddin was the one to introduce then South African Captain Hansie Cronje to the bookies.[25] The International Cricket Council and the BCCI banned Azharuddin for life, based on a report by K Madhavan of the Central Bureau of Investigation.[26][27]

On 8 November 2012, a divisional bench consisting of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Krishna Mohan Reddy of the Andhra Pradesh High Court revoked the ban imposed based on the evidence found. The court concluded that the ban was illegal, although Azharuddin never came back on the field. Azharuddin was 49 when the verdict was announced. He is currently[when?] the chairman of Hyderabad cricket board since 2019.[28][29][30]


Azharuddin was a middle order batsman of India. He was known for a graceful and fluid batting style. John Woodcock, a cricket writer, said of him, "It's no use asking an Englishman to bat like Mohammad Azharuddin. It would be like expecting a greyhound to win The Derby."[31] Retired cricketer Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan stated that "Azharuddin had the best wrists in the game".[23] Michael Atherton and Angus Fraser said Azharuddin's "genius was second only to Brian Lara among batsmen of their generation."[10]

Novelist and cricket historian Arunabha Sengupta said of Azharuddin:

Mohammad Azharuddin, was one of the most delightful batsmen to watch and a superb fielder to boot, whose career ended under a cloud of allegations. Azhar was simply magical. Be it batting or fielding, his willow was a wand, his strokes cast a spell and his motion in the field was hypnotic.[32]

Test career statistics[edit]

Team Runs Average 100s Highest Score
Australia 780 39.00 2 163*
England 1978 58.09 6 182
New Zealand 1152 61.23 2 192
Pakistan 1089 40.47 3 141
South Africa 915 41.00 4 163*
Sri Lanka 1215 55.23 5 199
West Indies 539 28.37 0 97
Zimbabwe 59 14.75 0 42
Total 6215 45.04 22 199

Political career[edit]

Azharuddin formally joined the Indian National Congress party on 19 February 2009. He won the 2009 Indian general election from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh to become a member of parliament of India.[33][34] Azaharuddin had disclosed his intention to contest the 2019 elections from Secunderabad Parliamentary constituency in 2019.[35]

He is currently holding the position of working president of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee.[36][37][38]


Azharuddin was awarded the Arjuna Award in 1986 and the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian award, in recognition of his distinguished contribution in the field of sports, in 1988.[39] He was named one of five Wisden's Cricketers of the Year for the year 1991.[40]

Personal life[edit]

Azharuddin married Naureen in 1987. In 1996, he divorced her and married actress Sangeeta Bijlani.[23] The marriage reportedly ended in a divorce in 2010 due to Azharuddin's affair with badminton player Jwala Gutta.[41][42]

He had two sons with his first wife; his younger son, Mohammad Ayazuddin, died in a road accident in 2011. The young cricketer was monitored in an intensive care unit with severe and multiple injuries in kidneys, chest and head.[43] Many VIPs, including the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and other politicians arrived at the hospital to console Azharuddin and his family members.[44] His elder son, Mohammad Asaduddin, married Anam Mirza, the sister of Sania Mirza, in 2019.[45][46]

In popular culture[edit]

A Bollywood film Azhar, directed by Tony D'Souza, was based on his life. The film featured Emraan Hashmi as Azharuddin, Nargis Fakhri as Sangeeta Bijlani and Prachi Desai as first wife Naureen. It was released on 13 May 2016.[47] The film was criticized for whitewashing[48] his complicity in the match-fixing scandal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Of comparisons and imitations". The Hindu. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  2. ^ Mohammad Azharuddin’s profile on Sportskeeda
  3. ^ "Andhra Pradesh High Court Clears Azhar". 11 May 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  4. ^ Choudhury, Angikaar. "Mohammad Azharuddin: The rise and fall of the Nawab of Hyderabad". Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin elected as HCA president". India Today. Retrieved 28 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Biography of Azhar". Retrieved 12 May 2016..
  7. ^ "Azharuddin's teenage son dies 5 days after bike crash | India News - Times of India". The Times of India. TNN. 17 September 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  8. ^ "From love at first sight to divorce: The tragic love story of ex-India captain Md Azharuddin and Sangeeta Bijlani". DNA India. Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  9. ^ "Mohammad Azharuddin birthday special: Know Indian cricketer Azhar, his love life and three wives!". Retrieved 6 June 2022.
  10. ^ a b Smyth, Rob (22 July 2011). "The Joy of Six: England v India memories". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 12 October 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  11. ^ Santhanam, S. (12 August 1990). "Azhar (179), Manjrekar (93) put English attack to the sword". The Indian Express. p. 16.
  12. ^ Santhanam, S. (15 August 1990). "Tendulkar (119 n.o.), Prabhakar rescue India". The Indian Express. p. 18.
  13. ^ Bland, Gareth (17 February 2016). "In praise of Azhar".
  14. ^ "King Kohli Slams 23rd Test Ton, Pips Dhoni & Records he Broke". India Today. 20 August 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  15. ^ a b Menon, Mohandas (30 November 1996). "Azhar's record breaking knock". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 24 April 1997. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  16. ^ a b Jaishankar, Vedam (30 November 1996). "Amazing Azhar onslaught revives India at Eden". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 24 April 1997. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  17. ^ Jaishankar, Vedam (2 December 1996). "Indians remain clueless to Klusener". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 22 April 1997. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Biggest margin". The Indian Express. 13 December 1996. Archived from the original on 22 April 1997. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  19. ^ Magazine, Pradeep (13 December 1996). "India wrap up victory quickly". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 22 April 1997. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Cricket Records / Records / South Africa in India Test Series, 1996/97 / Most runs". ESPN cricinfo. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Everyone thinks Mohammad Azharuddin was a match-fixer. But what is the full story and why was his ban lifted?".
  22. ^ "Virat Kohli has to behave like a captain, says Mohammad Azharuddin". The Indian Express. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  23. ^ a b c "Azhar: Here's all the real-life drama from Mohammad Azharuddin's life". Indian Express. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  24. ^ The CBI Report in Full – Part 26 (Report). 1 November 2000. Retrieved 21 December 2010 – via
  25. ^ The CBI Report in Full – Part 25 (Report). 1 November 2000. Retrieved 21 December 2010 – via
  26. ^ Full text of the CBI (Report). Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi. 1 November 2000. Retrieved 21 December 2010 – via
  27. ^ "Azharuddin confesses all". Archived from the original on 11 January 2022.
  28. ^ "AP high court lifts ban on Azharuddin". Wisden India. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  29. ^ "Match fixing scandal". The Hindu. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  30. ^ "Match fixing charges: Andhra court says life ban on Azharuddin illegal". NDTV. 8 November 2012. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  31. ^ Astill, James (2013). The Great Tamasha: Cricket, corruption and the turbulent rise of modern India. Wisden Sports Writing. p. 132. ISBN 978-1408156926.
  32. ^ "Mohammad Azharuddin: The magician who made batting look stunningly surreal". 7 February 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  33. ^ "Azhar starts new innings". IBN Live. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  34. ^ "Detailed Profile: Shri Mohammed Azharuddin". Archived from the original on 5 September 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
  35. ^ Azaharuddin keen on contesting from Secunderabad LS seat
  36. ^ "President of Pradesh Congress Committee". Indian National Congress. Archived from the original on 14 February 2019. Retrieved 14 February 2019.[verification needed]
  37. ^ "Mohammad Azharuddin appointed working president of Telangana Congress". Hindustan Times. 30 November 2018.
  38. ^ Supriya Bhardwaj (30 November 2018). "New innings: Mohammad Azharuddin is Congress's working president in Telangana". India Today.
  39. ^ "List of Arjuna Awardees". Odisha book. Archived from the original on 8 May 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  40. ^ Popham, Peter (5 November 2000). "Azhar's world in ruins". The Independent. Retrieved 19 December 2018.
  41. ^ "Jwala in, Bijli out of Azharuddin's life?". The Times of India. 24 July 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  42. ^ "Azhar dating badminton player Jwala Gutta". India tv News. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  43. ^ "Azharuddin's son dead". The Hindu. 16 September 2011.
  44. ^ "Speed thrilled, killed 200 kmph Ayaz". 18 September 2011.
  45. ^ "Sania Mirza's sister Anam marries Mohd Azharuddin's son Asaduddin in Hyderabad". India Today. Ist. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  46. ^ "Mohammad Azharuddin's son Asad marries Sania Mirza's sister Anam; see pics and videos". Deccan Chronicle. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  47. ^ "Azhar Plot Summary". Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  48. ^ "Sorry Bollywood, The Truth About Azhar Lies in His Own Confessions". Retrieved 14 July 2016.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Indian National Test Cricket Captain
1989/90 – 1996
Succeeded by
Preceded by Indian National Test Cricket Captain
1997/98 – 1998/99
Succeeded by