Cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin
Born: 8 February 1963 (age 51)
Age: 51 years
Birthplace: Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Nickname: Ajju , Azzu
Batting style: Right-handed batsman
Bowling style: Right-arm medium
Mohammad Azharuddin is a former cricketer and an Indian politician. He was an accomplished batsman and captained the Indian cricket team for much of the 1990s, winning theArjuna Award in 1986. A member of the Indian National Congress, Azharuddin was an M.P from the Moradabad of Uttar Pradesh.
Azhar, as he is popularly known, grew up in Hyderabad and attended All Saints High School, Hyderabad in Hyderabad, of which fellow cricketers Venkatapathy Raju and Noel David are also alumni. While playing cricket, he graduated from Nizam College, Osmania University, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Azharuddin was first married to Naureen, with whom he had two sons, Asad and Ayaz, and whom he divorced after 9 years of marriage. He then married model-actor Sangeeta Bijlani in 1996.
Azhar scored a final total of 22 centuries in test cricket, at an average of 45, and 7 in ODIs, at an average of 37. To date, he is the only cricketer with the distinction of scoring a century in each of his first three tests. As a fielder, he took 156 catches in ODI cricket – a world record until surpassed by Mahela Jayawardene. He has also held world records for maximum ODI runs and fastest ODI hundred, both subsequently broken by other players, and scored centuries in his first and last Tests. His highest test score is 199, gained against Sri Lanka, and in 1991 he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
Azharuddin was captain of the Indian team for most of the 1990s. Statistically he is one of India’s most successful captains, winning 90 ODIs, which was broken by M.S. Dhoni on 2nd September against England overtaking him as the most successful Indian ODI captain with 91 victories. His 14 test match wins as captain was a record until it was bettered by then Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly with 21 test match wins.
He and Ajay Jadeja have both been banned from the sport of cricket in their lifetimes.
As a cricketer, he was known for a graceful and fluid batting style – John Woodcock, a noted 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. He also won praise elsewhere, with umpire Venkataraghavan stating that “Azharuddin had the best wrists in the game”.