Mohammad Azharuddin (born 8 February 1963) is an Indian politician and a former captain of the Indian cricket team. He was a middle order batsman and captained the Indian cricket team for a long duration during the 1990s. He was elected as a member of the Parliament from Moradabad constituency on an Indian National Congress party ticket.
Early life and education
Azharuddin was born in Hyderabad to Mohammad Azizuddin and Yousuf Sultana on 8 February 1963.He attended All Saints High School, Hyderabad and graduated from Nizam College, Osmania University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
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. 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. He was also the first player to play in 300 ODIs. He too has the record for scoring most number of hundreds in consecutive test matches from debut(3).
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. 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.
Match fixing scandal
Azharuddin was accused and was found guilty of match-fixing in the match-fixing scandal in 2000. Then South African captain Hansie Cronje indicated that Azharuddin was the one to introduce him to the bookies. The ICC and the BCCI banned Azharuddin for life based on a report by the Central Bureau of Investigation. He was also the first player ever to be banned for spot fixing.
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 Epsom Derby.” Retired cricketer Venkataraghavan stated that “Azharuddin had the best wrists in the game”.
Azharuddin married Naureen in 1987 had two sons with her. In 1996, he divorced her and married actress Sangeeta Bijlani. The marriage ended in a divorce in 2010 reportedly due to Azhar’s alleged affair with badminton player Jwala Gutta, which was declined by the player. His younger son Ayazuddin died in a road accident in 2011.
In popular culture
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.
International awards and records
One Day Internationals
Man of the Match awards
|1||Pakistan||Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne||20 February 1985||93 (135 balls: 4×4)||India won by 6 wickets.|
|2||New Zealand||Adelaide Oval, Adelaide||25 January 1986||69 (90 balls: 8×4)||India won by 5 wickets.|
|3||England||Kennington Oval, London||24 May 1986||3 ct. ; 83 (154 balls: 8×4)||India won by 9 wickets.|
|4||Australia||Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah||5 April 1987||84 (129 balls: 4×4, 1×6)||India won by 7 wickets.|
|5||Australia||Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi||22 October 1987||54* (45 balls: 5×4, 1×6); 3.4-0-19-3, 1 ct.||India won by 56 runs.|
|6||New Zealand||Moti Bagh Stadium, Vadodara||17 December 1988||108* (65 balls: 10×4, 3×6)||India won by 2 wickets.|
|7||Sri Lanka||Eden Gardens, Kolkata||4 January 1991||54* (39 balls: 4×4, 1×6)||India won by 7 wickets.|
|8||England||Captain Roop Singh Stadium, Gwalior||5 March 1993||95* (63 balls: 12×4, 1×6)||India won by 4 wickets.|
|9||Sri Lanka||R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo||25 July 1993||53 (57 balls: 2×4, 1×6)||India won by 1 run.|
|10||South Africa||Eden Gardens, Kolkata||24 November 1993||90 (118 balls: 7×4, 1×6); 1 ct.||India won by 2 runs.|
|11||Sri Lanka||Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo||17 September 1994||1 run out, 45 (51 balls: 1×4, 1×6)||India won by 6 wickets.|
|12||West Indies||MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai||23 October 1994||81 (84 balls: 7×4, 1×6)||India won by 4 wickets.|
|13||Sri Lanka||Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah||14 April 1995||1 run out, 90* (89 balls: 5×4, 2×6)||India won by 8 wickets.|
|14||Australia||PCA IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali||3 November 1996||94 (104 balls: 4×4, 2×6); 1 ct.||India won by 5 runs.|
|15||Pakistan||Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka||11 January 1998||100 (111 balls: 7×4)||India won by 18 runs.|
|16||Zimbabwe||Barabati Stadium, Cuttack||9 April 1998||153* (150 balls: 17×4, 1×6); 1 ct.||India won by 32 runs.|
|17||Sri Lanka||Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah||6 November 1998||94 (131 balls: 3×4, 4×6)||India won by 3 wickets.|
|18||Pakistan||Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah||23 March 2000||1 ct., 54 (89 balls: 7×4)||India won by 5 wickets.|