Picture Credit: Twitter

Kerala batsman Mohammed Azharuddeen has been in the news lately. Ever since he played that spectacular knock against Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament his life has changed for good. There are moments in life, when one’s entire being, one’s entire passion paves the way to something special. Perhaps his innings of 137 from 54 deliveries was just that moment for the 26-year-old named after the legendary former India captain of the same name.

In an exclusive interview with SportsTiger in our new series Interact.Personal.Laugh and Life, Azharuddeen speaks at length about his dream, his journey and his cricket. Unmistakable is the spark in his eyes and the smile as he goes candid with us.

My eldest brother was a big fan of legend Azharuddin sir

Azharuddeen reveals that he has seven elder brothers and it was his eldest brother who was a big fan of Mohammad Azharuddin, the legendary India cricketer from Hyderabad. In 1994, when he was born, the Hyderabadi legend was at his peak and hence he was named after him. Interestingly, all his elder brothers went on to play district level cricket but none could forge ahead to the state team.

Never thought I would play in the IPL

The right-handed opener said that he never thought he would play in the IPL. For him, it’s just a sport that he is passionate about and other things secondary. Soon after his heroics in the Mushtaq Ali, Azharuddeen was picked by the Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Thought someone is playing a prank when Virat messaged me

He revealed that he had thought it to be a prank when Virat Kohli sent him a message after he was picked by RCB in the Players Auction. Only when he confirmed the number from his Kerala teammate Sanju Samson did he believe it to be the India captain.

Wanted to do something for my parents

While Azharuddeen lost his father at the age of 16, he lost his mother when he was 20. Recalling the sad phase in his life, he said that his parents passing away was a huge motivator for him in life since he wanted to do something for them but couldn’t do anything as he was young at that time. Within 8 months of his mother’s death he made his Ranji debut for Kerala and is now part of the RCB squad.

“I wanted to take my parent’s name in every interview, that’s what my real motivation was,” he says in the interview and Indian cricket fans would hope that he goes on to achieve bigger feats and make not only his family but the entire nation.