When Mohammad Azharuddeen was born in Kasargod in 1994, his parents had initially thought of a different name for him. However, it was his brother Kamaruddin who insisted that the boy be named Azharuddeen, after the legendary cricketer who helmed the Indian cricket team in those years.
Twenty-six years later, young Azharuddeen too has left his mark on the pitch, earning him an avalanche of praises on social media. On Wednesday, the 26-year-old cricketer, who plays for Kerala, led his team to a resounding victory after hitting a century in just 37 balls against Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy.
Azharuddeenâs feat has been hailed as âextraordinary cricketâ by sports enthusiasts and celebrities alike, who took to Twitter to shower praises on the 26-year-old.
âI had seen an extraordinary player called Mohd Azharuddin many years ago. Now I am seeing another by the same name. Wow, he can play some shots!â cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted.
âWah Azharudeen, behtareen! To score like that against Mumbai was some effort. 137* of 54 and finishing the job on hand. Enjoyed this innings,â former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag said.
in 37 balls!â BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) January 13, 2021
Sensational stuff this is from Mohammed Azharuddeen.
What a knock this has been from the Kerala opener! #KERvMUM #SyedMushtaqAliT20
Follow the match https://t.co/V6H1Yp60Vs pic.twitter.com/Nrh88uOOFU
What a story. A player named after one Indian cricketer, Azhar, is joined by a player named after another Indian legend, Sachin, to deliver an 8 wicket win for Kerala against the most successful domestic side ever, Mumbai, in the Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament! pic.twitter.com/QQjViQbo1Kâ Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) January 13, 2021
I had seen an extraordinary player called Mohd Azharuddin many years ago. Now I am seeing another by the same name. Wow, he can play some shots!â Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 13, 2021
In my teens, Mohammad Azharuddin held the world record for the fastest century in ODIs, off 62 balls.â Abhishek Mukherjee (@ovshake42) January 13, 2021
Today Mohammad Azharuddeen gets one in 37.
Keralaâs Mohd Azharuddin has scored 98 in 36 balls against Mumbai. Whattay inningsâ à¤ à¤à¤à¤¿à¤¤ à¤à¥à¤¨ (@indiantweeter) January 13, 2021
Kerala vs Pondy.â Rajaneesh (@vilakudy) January 11, 2021
Azhar departs after another breezy knock.
No T20 50 yet for 'local' Azza.
25 years ago Mohammed Azharuddin scored the then fastest century for India (equalling Kapil's record) in 74 balls.â Vikram Hegde (@vikramhegde) January 14, 2021
Now 26 year old Mohammed Azharudeen scores a century in exactly half the number of balls. https://t.co/ySYnlYdMLY
The last time Mumbai bowlers faced such a pounding at Wankhede Stadium by a lesse-known batsman in #SMAT, the batsman was Hardik Pandya (2013-14), Mohd Azharuddin would hope he can follow into Hardik's footsteps #MUMvsKERâ Amol Karhadkar (@karhacter) January 13, 2021
Mohammed Azharuddeen is the 1st player to score a century for Kerala in Twenty20 cricket.
Previous highest for Kerala: 92* by Rohan Prem v Delhi in 2013.
Azharuddeen's 37-ball century is the 2nd fastest in #SMAT20 behind Rishabh Pant's 32-ball effort in 2018. #SyedMushtaqAliT20â Sampath Bandarupalli (@SampathStats) January 13, 2021
At the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday, Azharuddeen was joined by Sachin Baby, and the cricket the duo played at the pitch together was much talked about on social media.
A right-handed batsman and wicketkeeper, Azharuddeen joined Keralaâs first-class cricket back in 2015. He joined T20 after successfully stints in U19 and U23 cricket. And despite facing struggles in between, the 26-year old has been a consistent player for the team.
On Wednesday, he beat the record of Kerala player Rohan Premâs T20 record of 92 not out, becoming the first T20 centurion in the Kerala team.