Mohammed Azharuddin: People all over India must be able to see Test cricket

Updated: Oct 23, 2019, 08:00 IST | Harit N Joshi | Mumbai

Former India captain and Hyderabad Cricket Association chief Mohammed Azharuddin disagrees with Virat Kohli's idea of restricting Test cricket to just five centres

Former India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin
Former India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin

Former India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin was in the thick of the action yesterday as he was preparing to participate in his first BCCI general body meeting where he will represent Hyderabad Cricket Association after being elected as its president recently.

Azharuddin greeted BCCI's president-elect Sourav Ganguly as soon as he got off the elevator at the BCCI's Cricket Centre at the Wankhede Stadium here. The ex-India teammates then indulged in a brief discussion before Ganguly headed back to his hotel.

In a brief interaction, Azharuddin, who was India captain when South Africa played their first international series after the apartheid era in 1992-93, spoke about his maiden BCCI meeting, Virat Kohli's suggestion to have just five Test centres in India (see box), the Test series against the visiting South Africans and Ganguly's focus on increasing remuneration for first-class cricketers.

Azhar spoke on...

His maiden BCCI meeting:

It is definitely exciting. I am looking forward to it. My objective as HCA president is to take Hyderabad cricket forward.

Kohli's five-Test centre suggestion:

What will happen to all the stadiums being built by the other state associations then? Why do we have them?

Test cricket is very important and every association wants to host Test matches. Why should they [other associations] only host T20Is and ODIs? People in all parts of country must be able to witness Test cricket.

The South African Test team:

They appear to be the weakest side. Even though they [South Africa] gave us a tough time last year when we toured there, we must not forget that they are also in a transition phase. Besides, the conditions here are not easy — the wickets afforded turn as well. Also, our pace attack is the strongest in the world at the moment.

The talk of increasing the remuneration for first-class cricketers manifold:

Money is not the main issue. Money is not everything. We need talented cricketers to come through. If our cricket is good, the money will automatically come.

We need to first strengthen our domestic cricket structure.

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