Azhar Mahmood

Azhar Mahmood

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Azhar Mahmood

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Azhar Mahmood Sagar (, born February 28, 1975 in Rawalpindi) is a Pakistani cricketer, . Originally his father objected to his interest in cricket, but later started to appreciate it seeing his accomplishments. As a teenager, Azhar was mentored by Irfan Bhatti who played a One Day International for Pakistan in the early 90’s. When not doing net practice, Azhar would fancy himself playing tape ball cricket on the cemented pitch in the cricket ground in front of his home.

Azhar made his One-Day International debut against India in 1996, but did not gain major recognition until his Test debut against South Africa the following year when he hit a century and a half-century without being dismissed. He later went on to score two more centuries against the South Africans.

He joined the Pakistani team primarily as a medium pacer but he has surprised many by his batting prowess. His hard hitting but orthodox batting skills have also been extremely useful in the one-day game. Unlike most Pakistani pacers who are swing bowlers, he is a useful English-style seam bowler, who can chip in with wickets in time of need.

In 2000, Lt-General Tauqir Zia, then the PCB chairman, said that the board would choose the next captain - not based on seniority alone - and if people find the choice unacceptable they will not be selected. Later - in front of some senior players - he told Azhar Mahmood that he will be the next Pakistan captain. Together they would plan the future strategy. But till now this...
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