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Mohammed Azharuddin

Born : February 8, 1963 (age 50), Hyderabad
Spouse: Sangeeta Bijlani (m. 1996
Batting style: Right-hand bat
Children: Ayaz, Asad

Wins the Lok Sabha seat from Moradabad

Ajju Bhai is back and back with a bang at the National stage by winning the Moradabad LS seat in the just concluded General Elections 2009. After joining the congress party, he was supposed to contest from the secunderabad seat and then it was speculated that he would contest from Nizamabad and then finally the high command asked him to contest from Moradabad,Uttar pradesh and he had no second thoughts on contesting from Moradabad as it was Rajiv Gandhi who had first asked him to join politics then while he had met him in Kanpur when he was playing a Test match.As a hugely famous muslim celebrity, he swept the muslim votes.

Azharuddins cricketing Career: One of the most natural and gifted cricketers of the current era, this Hyderabadi's lifeline captures a classic rags to riches story. Grooming his cricket skills in places having a strong lineage of cricketers from Hyderabad like the All Saints School & Nizam College, Azhar's style of playing the game certainly displayed all the class and charisma seen in cricketers of the past from Hyderabad. He was a tall, slightly built, soft-spoken young man with a toothy grin and restless feet, incapable, it seemed, of standing still. He must have been 16 or 17 when he shyly stood in the background and watched the State Bank team of which his uncle Abid Zainulabuddin was the captain--at nets behind an impressive office complex on a main thoroughfare of Hyderabad. His own home was in a modest quarter of the city in the bylanes behind the bank, from where he walked to the nets via the bank's rear entrance. He would wait patiently to get a chance to bowl his harmless legbreaks to the later order batsmen.

Little did any of us realize that this young man of the ever present smile would one day play for India, delight the cricket world with his wristy strokeplay, and eventually become a successful captain. Yes, soon enough, he was making waves in domestic cricket, especially with his unusual capacity to play those wonderful onside shots to balls pitched anywhere from outside the offstump to the legside.

Nothing he did in domestic cricket until that momentous double century in the Duleep Trophy prepared anyone for the fairytale beginning of three hundreds in a row to his Test career. He established himself as one of the most reliable middle order batsman and was bestowed with the captaincy of a crisis ridden Indian team in the early 90's. His stint as a captain saw several curves.

His personality was often perceived as being too quiet and inward to have strong leadership skills while his electric presence in the field was in complete contrast to his calm mannerisms both on and off the field. Though records convey that he has been the most successful captain of his country, Azhar always had strong fingers pointing towards him for all the things that have gone wrong under his leadership.

The high pressure job of leading the country as well as being continuously under the roving eyes of the media for both cricket & non-cricket reasons had its impact on Azhar. He lost the captaincy to Sachin Tendulkar and for the first time in his career was dropped from the Indian squad in 1997 for the Independence Cup. Azhar got back the captaincy and also recaptured his form leading to some glorious moments of Indian cricket in 1998 before the disappointment in the 1999 World Cup. Azhar lost the captaincy and his place in the team after that but came back with a bang against South Africa. He was handed a life ban by the Indian cricket authorities, after he admitted to fixing three one-day international matches.

Through the ups and downs of Azharuddin's eventful career, conflicting reports about the man did the rounds in the corridors of cricket. One side of him continued to be seen in a favourable light. He showed respect to seniors, cricketers and others, he exerted quiet authority over his team, and he still retained a reputation as the boy next door, but there were also occasional flashes of arrogance in the utterances he made retorting to criticism, there was this new image as a man of expensive tastes. And we all know where his career ended, after numerous comebacks and electrifying exhibitions of an unusual talent.

In the end, what haunts admirers and well-wishers of this brilliant cricketer is a poignant sense of what might have been. Just as his cricket fell short of greatness, thanks to his failure against genuine pace and in adverse conditions on the field, his life too has been found flawed in the face of the ultimate test that of character. Azharuddin has gone into the record books as the only cricketer in the world to be stranded on 99 Test appearances.

Last Updated on : 21-May-2013

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