It wasn’t an easy decision for former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin to agree for a biopic that traces the most memorable and embarrassing instances, and the lows and highs of his life. Even though it took a lot of convincing before the film went on floors, he was happy to be involved in the making of ‘Azhar’ right from the beginning. “I took a lot of convincing. When I read the script, there were a few changes that I had suggested. I’m happy that the makers incorporated those changes. So ever since I gave my nod to the project, I have been fully involved with the film.”
As expected the cricketer has huge expectations from the film. “Yes, I’m eagerly awaiting the film’s release. But to me, fans’ expectations matter a lot.”
If recent reports are anything to go by, Azharuddin’s second wife Sangeeta Bijlani who hasn’t been in touch with the cricketer in years, fears that the film might not show her in a positive way. Another popular cricketer Manoj Prabhakar, who is said to have been the witness in Azharuddin's match fixing scam, also made headlines when he decided to take legal action against the makers of 'Azhar.'
On being asked how he has been reacting to these reports, Azhar said, “I also heard those reports but don’t know how far they are true.”
While we all agree that Azharuddin enjoys a huge fan base, there is no denying the fact that he has earned a huge number of detractors too. “How can I say who are the people who hate me? I can’t control people from saying things about me. If people have formed their opinions, they will follow them. ‘Azhar’ is not the film where I want people to form opinions about me. It is an attempt to show the events that happened in my life. I’m not trying to redeem from this. Anybody who goes and sees the film with a positive frame of mind will be able to learn many things.”
Azharuddin and Sidhu’s fall out during the 1996 tour of England, which also prompted Sidhu to quit the tour, still remains etched in the minds of cricket buffs. But Azharuddin has no hard feelings. "Siddhu bhai jaise hain. Unke baarey mei kuch kaise bol sakta hoon. Woh mujhe bada aur main unko chota bhai maanta hoon. We share a great camaraderie. Bahut aacchey aadmi hain. Lheltey time itna zyaada boltey nahi," he laughed.