Karachi, July 29
Mohammad Azharuddin’s rehabilitation from life ban is greater than full in some ways however the former India captain says he “doesn’t really know the reasons” for banning him within the first place.
In December 2000, Azhar was handed a life ban by the BCCI for his alleged involvement in match-fixing. However, after an extended drawn authorized battle, the Andhra Pradesh High Court revoked the ban in 2012, terming it “illegal”.
Reminded of one of many darkest phases of his life, Azhar mentioned, “I do not need to blame anybody for what occurred. I actually do not know the explanations for banning me…”
“…But I had decided to fight it and I am grateful that after 12 years I got cleared. I felt very satisfied when after being elected president of Hyderabad association I went and attended the BCCI AGM meeting.” Azharuddin performed 99 Tests and scored 6,125 runs at a mean of 45. He additionally performed 334 ODIs, scoring 9,378 runs at 36.92 throughout a 15-year worldwide profession that had begun with three successive centuries.
In 2019, he had a stand named after him on the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium. He ran the bell on the Eden Gardens forward of an India match the 12 months earlier than and the redemption continued when he was included in a gaggle of former cricketers honoured with a lap across the iconic floor throughout India’s first pink-ball Test.
Though he did not know that the 99th Test of his profession could be his final, Azhar says he has no regrets at lacking out on finishing a century of matches.
“I am a firm believer in fate and whatever is in your destiny it happens. I look at this way that nowadays if a player is a class act he ends up playing more than 100 Tests. So I don’t think this record of 99 Test matches that I hold is going to be broken,” mentioned Azhar.
The former skipper mentioned he thought of himself lucky to have gotten the chance to symbolize India for an extended interval.
“I played for around 16 to 17 years and I captained for around 10 years. What more can I ask for.”
The trendy batsman additionally spoke about how former Pakistan batting nice Zaheer Abbas had helped him come out of a foul run of type and the way he repaid the favour years later by serving to Younis Khan overcome his poor type in England.
“I was not sure about being selected for the Pakistan tour in 1989 as I was struggling badly for form. I remember in Karachi Zaheer bhai came to the ground to watch us practice. He asked me why I was getting out early. I told him my problems and he suggested I change my grip a bit.”
“Since I had nothing to lose and he had come himself to the bottom and gave me this recommendation I mentioned why not give it a strive,” he recalled.
“The moment I changed my grip I felt more comfortable and confident and started playing freely. Eventually it also helped me become a more aggressive batsman.”
Azhar mentioned when he noticed Younis Khan struggling for runs in England in 2016 he felt dangerous.
“He seemed ugly in his batting and I felt dangerous that such a great batsman ought to play so ungainly. I knew him so I referred to as him up and suggested him to remain within the crease and attempt to play near the physique from contained in the crease,” he mentioned.
“I am just happy he took my advice and went on to score a double century in the final Test at the Oval.”
The Indian nice additionally made it clear that he remained a supremely good fielder and catcher due to his versatile physique.
“I made it some extent to not placed on weight as a result of if you placed on a number of further kilos you may’t subject correctly and comfortably,” mentioned Azhar.
“I have always felt that fielding is not taken that seriously by most players. But if you want to be an outstanding fielder and catcher then you have to enjoy fielding as much as you do bowling or batting.”
Azhar additionally mentioned he did not see Indo-Pakistan bilateral cricket resuming within the close to future.
“I don’t like to talk about this much because it is not in our hands. It is a government to government issue and once it is resolved at that level, cricket will resume, not before that.” PTI