Mohammad Azharuddin Biography
The right handed batsman from Hyderabad, infamous for his match-fixing scandal, was born on 8th February 1963. However, those who had seen him play, remember him for his aggressive batting style and wristy stroke play on the onside.
Stats show that apart from being a classy batsmen, he was equally brilliant in the field, taking 156 catches in his international career.
Azharuddin started his professional career playing for his home side, Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy in 1981-1982 at the age of 18. With only one half century to his name in the first season, Azharuddin failed to make his mark in the cricketing world.
However he played consistently well in the subsequent two seasons, making more than 2500 runs in both.
Brilliant performances in consecutive seasons in the Ranji Trophy led to his Test debut on 31st December 1984 against England. He marked his arrival with a bang, scoring a superb century in his very first match.
He went on to score centuries in the next two matches as well, and is one of the few cricketers, who hold the record for scoring centuries in their first three matches.
Azharuddin made his ODI debut on 20th January 1985 against England.
Rise to Glory
Azharuddin rose to fame towards the latter half of the 1980’s. Soon after his debut, Azharuddin was churning out runs at a phenomenal pace. The most memorable knock came out of his bat at Lord's against England, when he scored a quick-fire 121 against the formidable bowling attack.
While India’s batting line up failed miserably, Azhar stood his ground. India lost the match that day, but gained a champion. His confidence demeanour and consistent performance was a reason he was handed the captain's cap when Kris Srikkanth decided to step down.
Azharuddin was handed the onus of captaincy in 1989, succeeding Krishnamachari Srikkanth. He is regarded as one of the best captains of the Indian cricket team, leading India to victory in 47 ODI’s and 14 Tests.
Azhar’s great run came to a crashing end when he was accused of match fixing in 2000. Things got worse when South African captain Hansie Cronje confessed that Azharuddin introduced him to one of the bookies. As a result, he was banned for life by BCCI.
Mohammad Azharuddin was banned for life by BCCI after allegations of match fixing at the age of 37. This ended his professional cricket career.
However, the ban was lifted in 2012 by the Andhra Pradesh High Court. He was elected as a Member of Parliament from Moradabad constituency in 2009, being a part of Indian National Congress.