Mohammad Azharuddin, former Indian captain and the current president of Hyderabad Cricket Association [HCA], has said that he will not bat an eyelid and would jump at the offer of becoming the head coach of the Indian men’ cricket team.
Ravi Shastri is the current head coach of the national team. His contract will expire after the culmination of the 2021 T20 World Cup.
Azhar, who captained India in three World Cups [1992, 1996 & 1999] also went on to question the employment of additional support staff that teams use these days.
“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.
“I am amazed to see so many people accompanying the team these days. For example, my specialisation is in batting and fielding and hence if I coach any team, I don’t really need a batting coach. Isn’t it?” explained Azhar.
‘IPL has given a lot to the sport’- Mohammad Azharuddin
Azharuddin hoped that the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League [IPL] sees the light of the day later this year. The BCCI is planning to stage the lucrative league in the September-November window, provided that ICC postpones the T20 World Cup.
“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,” Mohammad Azharuddin said.
Azhar also went on to hail the cash-rich league for serving as a launchpad for precocious young talents, citing examples of the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.
“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,” Mohammad Azharuddin added.
Azharuddin is currently the head of the Hyderabad Cricket Association, something that he termed as a ‘challenging job’.
“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.” the former captain reckoned.