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Azharuddin will give free advice to team following son’s inclusion: GCA official

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The inclusion of son Asaduddin in the side will guarantee the Goa Ranji Trophy team, “free expert advice” by father and former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin, said an official on Friday.

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The 28-year old Asaduddin hasn’t featured in a single Ranji Trophy match so far and his inclusion in the team quite understandably has kicked up a storm in the cricketing circuit of the state.

“Because Asaduddin is his son and he is now a part of our team, we will get Azharuddin’s guidance for free. The expert assistance from someone of the stature of Azharuddin, a former India captain, will work wonders for the Goa team and its young cricketers,” said Daya Pagi, the secretary of the Goa Cricket Association, as quoted by IANS.

Pagi, however, said that they haven’t yet signed any written agreement with Azharuddin which would ensure that the latter shared his experience with the state’s players.

He also clarified that Asaduddin hasn’t been paid any money and would play as a, “guest player.”

“Asaduddin has been roped in as a guest player. We have not paid a single rupee to him… we are going through a cash crunch and that is why we chose this route,” added Pagi.

Earlier, Shadab Jakati, who is the highest wicket-taker for Goa criticised this move from the GCA, labelling it as a , “joke on the cricketers of Goa.”

Addressing the media at a press conference, Jakati voiced his opinion, “Just because (he is the son of former India captain (Mohammad Azharuddin), who was a great player, does that automatically allow for his son to play for Goa?”

“He (Asaduddin) is aged 28 and never played a single Ranji trophy match, nor even a first-class match. Even the last match he played for a state was in 2009, that too for Hyderabad Colts team in an invitational tournament. He tried to play for Uttar Pradesh, he tried various states, but he was not given a chance.”

“He (Asaduddin) is aged 28 and never played a single Ranji trophy match, nor even a first-class match. Even the last match he played for a state was in 2009, that too for Hyderabad Colts team in an invitational tournament. He tried to play for Uttar Pradesh, he tried various states, but he was not given a chance,” added Jakati further.

Jakati, who has 275 wickets in  92 appearances for Goa also said that GCA president Suraj Lotlikar wasn’t concerned about the players from the state.

“GCA President Suraj Lotlikar is not bothered about Goan players. We are calling players from outside to make a debut for the Goa cricket team,” he said.

Jakati, 38, also revealed that Lotlikar asked him to retire despite performing well in the last season.

“Suraj Lotlikar told me to consider retirement and told me to make way for junior cricketers. He even went to the extent of telling me that I will never be part of any IPL team this year,” he said.

Due to Lotlikar being unavailable for comment considering the fact that he is currently out of India, Pagi justified the decision to drop senior players saying that it was a part of a new strategy to promote young talent.

“His performance has been average for the last few years. That is why we have taken a decision to drop him and other senior players. We want to promote young talent in the Goa team,” said Pagi.

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