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|March 15, 1999||
Azhar to lead India in World Cup
Mohammad Azharuddin, 36, will get an opportunity to equal West Indies' star Clive Lloyd's record of leading a team to the World Cup thrice in a row.
The national cricket selectors headed by Ajit Wadekar on Monday named him to lead India to the tournament, after a discussion that lasted a very brief while.
Azhar will also be at the head of the team for the forthcoming triangular one-day series at home, and then in Sharjah, it was announced.
Wadekar told the media that no other candidate was was discussed.
The selectors were scheduled to announce the captain and team for the triangular one day series involving India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. But at the beginning of the meeting, BCCI secretary Jaywant Lele urged them to select Azharuddin till the World Cup, arguing that this would give the captain confidence, and end the suspense.
Azharuddin has already led India in the 1992 and 1996 World Cups. In 1992, India failed to enter the knock-out stage and four years later, it lost to Sri Lanka in the semifinals at the Eden Gardens, Calcutta.
Azharuddin had, earlier, been part of the 1987 World Cup team, as a player.
The doubts about his reappointment had effectively vanished once board president Raj Singh Dungarpur and selector Shivlal Yadav lent public support to Azhar in the wake of widespread criticism of his leadership in recent weeks.
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