Mohammad Azharuddin

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Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin.jpg
Mohammad Azharuddin
Personal information
Full nameMohammad Azharuddin
Born (1963-02-08) 8 February 1963 (age 55)
Hyderabad, Telangana
India
NicknameAzhar, Ajju, Azzu[1]
BattingRight-handed batsman
BowlingRight-arm medium
RoleBatsman
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
YearsTeam
1981–2000Hyderabad
1983–2001South Zone
1991–1994Derbyshire
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 99 334 229 433
Runs scored 6,216 9,378 15,855 12,941
Batting average 45.08 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 n/a 0 n/a
Best bowling -/- 3/19 3/36 3/19
Catches/stumpings 105/- 156/– 220/– 200/–
Source: Cricinfo, 13 February 2009
Mohammad Azharuddin
Member of Parliament
In office
16 May 2009 – 16 May 2014
Preceded byShafiqur Rahman Barq
Succeeded byKunwar Sarvesh Kumar Singh
ConstituencyMoradabad
Personal details
Political partyIndian National Congress
Spouse(s)Naureen (1987-1996)
Sangeeta Bijlani (1996–2010)
Children1-Mohammad Asaduddin b.1990 2-Mohammad Ayazuddin b.1992-2011 Aged:19

Mohammad Azharuddin is an Indian politician and former cricketer. He was renowned as an elegant middle-order batsman and captained India in 47 tests during the 1990s. His international playing career came to a controversial end when he was implicated in the infamous match-fixing scandal in 2000 and subsequently banned by the BCCI for life. In 2012, the Andhra Pradesh High Court declared illegal the life ban. A division bench of the high court set aside the order of the City Civil Court, which had upheld the ban after Azharuddin had challenged it. But by then he was 49 years old and too old to get back on the pitch.[2][3] He said he was happy the issue was over and done with, and he would not be taking any further legal action: "It was a long drawn out legal case and it was painful. We fought in the court for 11 years. Finally the verdict has come and I am happy that the ban has been lifted by the court.

"I am not going to take any legal action against any authority and I don't want to blame anybody for this also. Whatever had to happen has happened. I don't have any complaint." In 2009, Azharuddin was elected as a member of the Parliament from Moradabad constituency on an Indian National Congress party ticket.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Azharuddin was born in Hyderabad to Mohammad Azizuddin and Yousuf Sultana. He attended All Saints High School, Hyderabad and graduated from Nizam College, Osmania University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.[5]

Cricket career[edit]

Few cricketers in India would have experienced the highs and lows of life like Azharuddin. Born in the Nizam town of Hyderabad in the then state of Andhra Pradesh, now Telangana, Azhar boasted of prodigious talent with the bat and was world renowned for his wristy strokes on the leg side, much like legends like Zaheer Abbas , Greg Chappell and Vishwanath. Those who saw this supreme batting artist at his peak will never forget him - sinewy wrists transforming a slender piece of willow into a magician's wand. Azharuddin made his debut for the Indian cricket team in Test cricket in 1984 against England at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on 31 December 1984 and hit three centuries in his first three matches, a feat that has never been match, [4] Three years after he made his first-class debut for Hyderabad. Azhar was heralded as a batting genius and this opinion grew stronger when he thumped his way to an aggressive 121 against England at Lord's in 1990. This was the Test where Gooch had pummeled the Indian bowlers all over to bring up his 333 and India were faced with the prospect of a follow on when Azhar came in to bat at number five. Against a quality bowling attack, he brought up his hundred off just 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 in the Observer.[6]

Predominantly a middle order batsman, Azharuddin was known for his attacking brand of cricket irrespective of the situation of the game and his superb catching in the slip cordon and outfield. Indeed at the time of his forced retirement, he was arguably India’s best fielder, even at the age of 37. Although his technique against the short ball was a bit dodgy, he resorted to instinctive stroke-play to counter it. Azharuddin scored a total of 22 centuries in test cricket, at an average of 45 and seven in ODIs at an average of 37. As a fielder, he took 156 catches in ODI cricket. He played 99 test matches with a highest score of 199, scored against Sri Lanka.[7] He was also the first player to play in 300 ODIs. Till date, Azharuddin is the only cricketer with the distinction of scoring a century in each of his first three Tests. He did this in his debut series against England.[8][9]Azhar 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 scored a record-equalling century for an India 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.[10][11] 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 a 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.[11][10] However, India was handed one of its biggest defeats despite another attacking innings by Azharuddin in the fourth innings.[12] 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).[13] He was named the man of the match, and the series.[14] He aggregated 388 runs for the series at 77.60.[15]

Captaincy of Team India[edit]

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 M.S. Dhoni on 2 September 2014.[16] 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.[7]

Azharuddin was accused of alleged match-fixing in the match-fixing scandal in 2000.[17] Then South African captain Hansie Cronje was the one to introduce Azharuddin to the bookies.[18] The ICC and the BCCI banned Azharuddin for life based on a report by the Central Bureau of Investigation.[19]

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 in evidence found.[3][20][21]

Style[edit]

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."[22] Retired cricketer Venkataraghavan stated that "Azharuddin had the best wrists in the game".[7] Mike Atherton and Angus Fraser said Azharuddin's "genius was second only to Brian Lara among batsmen of their generation."[6]

This is what the famous Arunabha Sengupta has to say 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. [23]

Career statistics[edit]

Mohammad Azharuddin's career performance graph

Test career[edit]

Team Runs Average Centuries
Australia 780 39.00 2
England 1978 58.09 6
New Zealand 1152 61.23 2
Pakistan 1089 40.47 3
South Africa 915 41.00 4
Sri Lanka 1215 55.23 5
West Indies 539 28.37 0
Zimbabwe 59 14.75 0
Total 6215 45.04 22

Political career[edit]

Azharuddin formally joined the Indian National Congress party on 19 February 2009. He won the Indian general election, 2009 from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh to become Member of Parliament of India .[24][25] Former MP and former Indian cricketer Mohammed Azaharuddin has disclosed his intention to contest 2019 elections from Secunderabad Parliamentary constituency in 2019 [26]

Awards[edit]

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, awarded in 1988.[27] He was also given the honourary Wisden Cricketer of the Year award in the year 1991. Global Association of Universal Peace ( GAUP ) announced its 1 st International Prize to Mohammad Azharuddin.

Personal life[edit]

Azharuddin married Naureen in 1987 and has two sons with her. In 1996, he divorced her and married actress Sangeeta Bijlani.[7] The marriage reportedly ended in a divorce in 2010 due to Azhar's affair with badminton player Jwala Gutta.[28][29] However the former captain claims he is still married to Sangeeta, clearing rumors of his 3rd marriage.

He has 2 sons Asaduddin and Ayazuddin. His younger son Ayazuddin died in a road accident in 2011. Ayazuddin's sportsbike Suzuki GSX-R1000, was an Eid gift from his father on which the tragic accident occurred. A large number of VIP's, including Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and other politicians arrived at the hospital to console Azhar and his family members.[30]

Whereas, his elder son - Asaduddin Abbas is an aspiring cricketer and has been selected in the Goa State team in September 2018.[31][32]

In popular culture[edit]

A Bollywood film Azhar, directed by Tony D'Souza, was based on his life. The film featured Emraan Hashmi as Mohammad Azharuddin, Nargis Fakhri as Sangeeta Bijlani and Prachi Desai as first wife Naureen. It was released on 13 May 2016.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Of comparisons and imitations". The Hindu. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 14 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Andhra Pradesh High Court Clears Azhar". thequint.com. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b "AP high court lifts ban on Azharuddin". Wisden India. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b Choudhury, Angikaar. "Mohammad Azharuddin: The rise and fall of the Nawab of Hyderabad". Scroll.in. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Biography of Azhar". azhar.co.in. Retrieved 12 May 2016..
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b c d "Azhar: Here's all the real life drama from Mohammad Azharuddin's life". Indian Express. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  8. ^ "12 Facts about Mohammad Azharuddin: Class and elegance personified". crictracker.com. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Records | Test matches | Batting records | Hundreds in consecutive matches from debut | ESPN Cricinfo". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 2017-02-22.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ "Biggest margin". The Indian Express. 13 December 1996. Archived from the original on 22 April 1997. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ "Cricket Records / Records / South Africa in India Test Series, 1996/97 / Most runs". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Virat Kohli has to behave like a captain, says Mohammad Azharuddin". The Indian Express. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
  17. ^ "The CBI Report in Full -- Part 26". Rediff.com. 1 November 2000. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  18. ^ "The CBI Report, in full". Rediff. 1 November 2000. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  19. ^ Full text of the CBI report on cricket match-fixing and related malpractises, October 2000. Central Bureau of Investigation, New Delhi (Report). Rediff. Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  20. ^ "Match fixing scandal". The Hindu. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  21. ^ "Match fixing charges: Andhra court says life ban on Azharuddin illegal". NDTV. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  22. ^ Astill, James (2013). The Great Tamasha: Cricket, corruption and the turbulent rise of modern India. Wisden Sports Writing. p. 132. ISBN 978-1408156926.
  23. ^ "Mohammad Azharuddin: The magician who made batting look stunningly surreal". http://www.cricketcountry.com. February 7, 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2018. External link in |website= (help)
  24. ^ "Azhar starts new innings". IBN Live. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  25. ^ Cite news| url=https://archive.india.gov.in/govt/loksabhampbiodata.php?mpcode=4265 | title= Detailed Profile: Shri Mohammed Azharuddin|access-date=24 May 2018
  26. ^ http://indtoday.com/azaharuddin-keen-on-contesting-from-secunderabad-ls-seat/
  27. ^ "List of Arjuna Awardees". Odisha book. Retrieved 14 May 2016.
  28. ^ "Jwala in, Bijli out of Azharuddin's life?". The Times of India. 24 July 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2016.
  29. ^ "Azhar dating badminton player Jwala Gutta". India tv News. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  30. ^ "Speed thrilled, killed 200 kmph Ayaz". Sep 18, 2011.
  31. ^ "Mohd Azharuddin's son in UP one-day team". indianexpress. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  32. ^ "Azhar's Son Abbas Scores 189! Will He Get A Fair Trial In Ranji Team?".
  33. ^ "Azhar Plot Summary". Retrieved 10 August 2018.

External links[edit]

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