May 18, 2009

Azhar's second innings

ESPNcricinfo staff

India’s general elections were a vindication not only for the Congress party but for one of its debutant candidates. And soon after his win was announced Mohammad Azharuddin celebrated his return to the headlines as a leader once again. “I was overwhelmed,” he told The Telegraph after being elected from the Moradabad constituency. “Till recently I didn’t expect to be in politics... Now, I’m in the Lok Sabha... That’s why I got overwhelmed and, in a way, felt I finally got to play my 100th Test.” He was referring, of course, to his exile from cricket after 99 Tests on being implicated in the match-fixing case. While he couldn’t draw a direct comparison between this achievement and his feats on the cricket field, he said it was it could be on a par with his “No.1 achievement” in the game - a hundred in each of his first three Tests (at home against England, in 1984-85). Azhar’s gradual return from the cold began in 2006 and his second innings has got off to a positive start.

Jayaditya Gupta is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo in India

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