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93. Mohammad Azharuddin

 

Personal information
Full nameMohammad Azharuddin
Born8 February 1963 (1963-02-08) (age 48)
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
NicknameAjju
Batting styleRight-handed batsman
Bowling styleRight-arm medium
RoleBatsman
International information
National sideIndia
Test debut (cap 169)30 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
1983–2000South Zone
1991–1994Derbyshire
Career statistics
CompetitionTestODIFCLA
Matches99334229433
Runs scored6,2159,37815,85512,941
Batting average45.0336.9251.9839.33
100s/50s22/217/5854/7411/85
Top score199153*226161*
Balls bowled135521,432827
Wickets0121715
Bowling average39.9146.2347.26
5 wickets in innings000
10 wickets in matchn/a0n/a
Best bowling0/43/193/363/19
Catches/stumpings105/–156/–220/–200/–
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.








Early life
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 life

Azharuddin 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.

 International career

 Highlights

Azhar 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.



 Captaincy

Azharuddin 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 scandal

Towards 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 career

Azharuddin 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 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
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



Former Prime Minister and JDS supremo H D Devegowda (left) hugs former Indian skipper Mohammed Azharuddin as former cricketer Dodda Ganesh joins JDS in Bangalore on June 27, 2007.

 Test statistics

 By opponent
Australia
  • 780 runs at 39.00 with 2 hundreds
England
  • 1278 runs at 58.09 with 6 hundreds
New Zealand
  • 796 runs at 61.23 with 2 hundreds
Pakistan
  • 769 runs at 40.47 with 3 hundreds
South Africa
  • 779 runs at 41.00 with 4 hundreds
Sri Lanka
  • 1215 runs at 55.23 with 5 hundreds
West Indies
  • 539 runs at 28.37 with 0 hundreds
Zimbabwe
  • 59 runs at 14.75 with 0 hundreds
Total
  • 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.

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

 


Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq in conversation with his former Indian counterpart Mohd Azharuddin in Hyderabad on March 31, 2005.

 


Former cricketers Kapil Dev (left) and Mohd Azharuddin at a function at Rajpath club in Ahmedabad on March 27, 2007.

 


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.

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

Test Centuries of Mohammad Azharuddin (1-11)
RunsAgainstGroundYear
[1]110EnglandEden Gardens,
Kolkata
1984
[2]105EnglandM. A. Chidambaram,
Chennai
1985
[3]122EnglandGreen Park,
Kanpur
1985
[4]199Sri LankaGreen Park,
Kanpur
1986
[5]141PakistanEden Gardens,
Kolkata
1987
[6]110PakistanSawai Mansingh,
Jaipur
1987
[7]109PakistanIqbal Stadium,
Faisalabad
1989
[8]192New ZealandEden Park,
Auckland
1990
[9]121EnglandLord's,
London
1990
[10]179EnglandOld Trafford,
Manchester
1990
[11]106AustraliaAdelaide Oval, Adelaide1992
Test Centuries of Mohammad Azharuddin (12-22)
RunsAgainstGroundYear
[12]182EnglandEden Gardens,
Kolkata
1993
[13]108Sri LankaChinnaswamy,
Bangalore
1994
[14]152Sri LankaSardar Patel,
Ahmedabad
1994
[15]109South AfricaEden Gardens,
Kolkata
1996
[16]163*South AfricaGreen Park,
Kanpr
1996
[17]115South AfricaNewlands,
Cape Town
1997
[18]126Sri LankaPremadasa Stadium,
Colombo
1997
[19]108*Sri LankaSinhalese, Colombo1997
[20]163*AustraliaEden Gardens,
Kolkata
1998
[21]103*New ZealandBasin Reserve,
Wellington
1998
[22]102South AfricaChinnaswamy,
Bangalore
2000


Source : Wikipedia, Times content

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