The pathway to success in no field is easy and more so in a field where you’re in constant public contact, sports being one such field where every little move on and even off the field is covered by the media and watched with great interest by the fans.
There are careers which are not prone to any controversy while there are careers in this field that suffer at the helm of a major controversy, big enough to end one’s professional sporting life and send him into an exile of sort – something similar happened with an Indian cricketer who was celebrated but faced severe backlash due to a “fixing scandal” in which he was claimed to have taken part in, the cricketer is Mohammad Azharuddin.
With a biopic on Azharuddin set to hit theatres in a few days from now, in which Emraan Hashmi plays the role of Mohammad Azharuddin, the curiosity among cricket fans is bound to be there – who was Azharuddin, what did he accomplish, were there controversies prior to this too! Well, we list 10 interesting facts about Mohammad Azharuddin through this list.
10. Three tons, first 3 tests
It’s the dream of any cricketer or sportsperson for that matter to ensure that he goes on to represent his country in the sport and if and when the opportunity presents itself, he wishes to be hopefully good enough to succumb to the pressure and perform. Azharuddin is a cricketer whose international career began perhaps in the most outstanding fashion to be noted in the cricket history – he smashed 3 tons in his first 3 test matches, debuting against a formidable English side touring India. Surely he came into the international arena with a bang.
9. Sons stepping into the cricketing arena
Following the footsteps of their father, Azharuddin’s two sons also took up cricket as a passion. His elder son, Mohammad Asasuddin played age group cricket in Hyderabad and is now part of the Uttar Pradesh cricketing setup. Azhar’s younger son, Mohammad Ayazuddin was an extremely talented and budding cricketer who sadly passed away in 2011 in a tragic road accident, he was only 19 years old.
8. 2 marriages, 2 divorces
Mohammad Azharuddin was first married to Naureen (1976-96) (the role of which is played by Prachi Desai in the movie “Azhar”) but the marriage ended and Azharuddin later married the Bollywood actress, Sangeeta Bijlani (1996-2010), the second marriage also failed and ended in divorce.
7. Early life and education
Azharuddin grew up in Hyderabad and took his schooling from All Saints High School and later pursued a degree in Commerce from Nizam College, Osmania University, Hyderabad. The alumni from his school include cricketers who represented India in Venkatapathy Raju and Noel David.
6. MP from Moradabad
Following the match-fixing scandal, Mohammad Azharuddin was away from the limelight for many years to follow but he made a return and this time through politics, contesting for the post of MP from Moradabad on the wicket from the Congress Party but he could not secure his seat in the 2014 general elections and therefore is no more an MP and his political stay only lasted for 5 years.
5. Arjuna Award
Mohammad Azharuddin made his international debut in 1984 and had a great run of form, securing a permanent place for himself in the international side. His great run of form earned him the prestigious Arjuna Award in the year 1986.
4. Stint as captain
After having represented his country for more than a decade, the crucial responsibility of captaining the side was bestowed upon him. Under his captaincy, India won a record 90 ODI’s which for the record is quite impressive and it wasn’t until the early 2000’s that India became a side to be reckoned with in ODI’s. The record was surpassed by Dhoni, under whose leadership India managed to get past the figure of 90 in 2014.
3. Banned for match-fixing
In the year 2000, the Indian cricket was hit by a major controversy in the form of one of it’s greatly celebrated cricketers in Mohammad Azharuddin accused of fixing matches – which in essence is accepting money to perform below one’s standards. His career ended at 99 test matches as the BCCI banned him for life.
2. BCCI lifts the ban
The year 2006 came as a relief for Azharuddin as the BCCI decided to lift the life ban on him and while Azharuddin had left playing cricket, it was a moral victory for someone who was accused of fixing matches and was banned by his country’s cricketing board.
1. Victory in high court
On 8th of November, 2012 the Andra Pradesh high court gave a decision that perhaps took away all the maligning that Azharuddin had to face in him career for the judiciary is to be respected and it’s decision has to be accepted. The high court lifted the fixing claims on Azharuddin and labelled it as “unsustainable”.