Azhar Mahmood Biography
Azhar Mahmood Sagar is a Pakistani Cricketer born on 28th February, 1975 at Rawalpindi, Pakistan. He is a right-handed batsman and right arm fast bowler. He played for Islamabad, Pakistan, Kings XI Punjab. In 2011, Azhar became a British citizen.
As a teenager, Azhar was mentored by Irfan Bhatti, a former Pakistani Cricketer.
Azhar made his first-class debut for Islamabad in the 1993-94 season. He also made his debut for List A debut in 1993-94 season. His fine performances for the team helped him gain a place in the National team.
Azhar made his ODI debut for Pakistan against India at Toronto in 1996. He did not pick any wicket in the match. He scored 6 runs in the losing cause, as India won by 8 wickets.
He made his Test debut for Pakistan against South Africa in 1997 at Rawalpindi. Azhar announced himself to the world Cricket. Azhar scored an unbeaten 128 against a strong South Africa bowling attack. He also scored 50 runs in the 2nd innings. He picked up 2 wickets in the match.
Rise to Glory
After joining the Pakistan team as a bowler, he impressed everyone with his power hitting with the bat.
In 1999, he also managed to pick back to back 5 wicket hauls against West Indies and Sri Lanka at Sharjah.
He was part of the Pakistan team that went to the final of the 1999 World Cup. He also played in the 2003 World Cup.
His poor performances saw him get dropped from the team before getting a call in 2007 for ODI series against South Africa.
He was dropped from the World Cup in 2007 but he replaced Abdul Razzaq who suffered from a knee injury. He did not play any match for Pakistan who got eliminated in the group stage itself.
Azhar played for Surrey in the County Championships from 2002 to 2007 before signing a 2-year contract with Kent. He played for Kings XI Punjab in the 2012 IPL and in 2015 he was signed by Kolkata Knight Riders as a replacement for James Neesham. He also represented Sydney Thunder in the 2013 Big Bash League.
In 2011, he got British citizenship, meaning he was no longer eligible to represent Pakistan.