On February 8, 1963, the right-handed batsman from Hyderabad, who became famous for his match-fixing controversy, was born. Those who had seen him play, on the other hand, recall him for his attacking batting style and wristy onside stroke play.
Statistics reveal that, in addition to being a fine batsman, he was also a superb goalkeeper, catching 156 balls in his international career.
At the age of 18, Azharuddin began his professional career playing for his hometown team, Hyderabad, in the Ranji Trophy in 1981-1982. Azharuddin struggled to make an impression on the cricketing world in his first season, scoring just one half century.
He did, however, perform consistently well in the following two seasons, hitting over 2500 runs in each.
After a string of impressive performances in the Ranji Trophy, he made his Test debut against England on December 31, 1984. He made a strong first impression, scoring a magnificent century in his first match.
He went on to score hundreds in his next two matches, making him one of only a few cricketers to score centuries in their first three matches.
On January 20, 1985, Azharuddin made his One-Day International debut against England.
Rise to Glory
Azharuddin came to prominence in the second half of the 1980s. Azharuddin was churning out runs at an incredible rate soon after his debut. His most famous innings came against England at Lord’s, where he scored a quick-fire 121 against a fearsome bowling attack.
Though India’s batting lineup struggled, Azhar remained unfazed. That day, India lost the match, but they won a champion. When Kris Srikkanth wanted to step down, he was given the captain’s cap due to his confident demeanour and good performance.
In 1989, Azharuddin took over as captain, replacing Krishnamachari Srikkanth. He is considered as one of India’s strongest captains, having led the country to victory in 47 One-Day Internationals and 14 Tests.
After allegations of match fixing, BCCI suspended Mohammad Azharuddin for life at the age of 37. His professional cricket career came to an end as a result of this.
The ban was lifted by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2012. He was elected to the Indian National Congress as a Member of Parliament from the Moradabad constituency in 2009.