Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin was a formidable figure in Indian cricket through the 1990s. He is the only Indian captain to have led the team in three World Cup tournaments from 1992 to 1999. Apart from his stint as a politician, Azhar has been a cricket pundit on news channels and is currently the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association.
He is someone who has always been in love with the sport and in a recent interview expressed his desire of coaching the Indian team if given an opportunity.
"Yes, I am ready to give it a shot. If I get an opportunity to work with the Indian team, I would jump at it without batting an eyelid," Azharuddin told Gulf News in an interview.
Azhar, who captained Indian in 174 ODIs, the second most by any captain, said he is amazed to see the number of people who are part of the support staff these days.
"I am amazed to see so many people accompanying the team these days. For example, my specialization is in batting and fielding, and hence if I coach any team, I don't really need a batting coach. Isn't it?" he said.
He also said that he hopes the Indian Premier League is held this year as it has given a lot to players and to the sport of cricket.
"I hope the league can eventually get a window where we get to host a minimum of seven matches. The league, whether one likes it or not, has given a lot to the sport in the last 10-12 years.
"It's a stage where cricketers get a lot of attention if they perform and get recognized quickly. Just think about it, a Hardik Pandya or a Jasprit Bumrah may still have been struggling in first-class cricket if the IPL was not there. I think it has been a win-win situation for the BCCI vis-à-vis the cricketers and don't agree with a section of critics who often call it a money-grab," the stylish cricketer said.
He was elected president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association in 2019 and said that running a body like that is much tougher than captaining a team.
"Yes, it's quite a challenging job. There are 226 affiliated clubs and you have to run it with a completely neutral perspective. It's much tougher than leading a side where you are handling 15 persons," he said.