Hyderabad, October 08: HYDERABAD: One of city's most celebrated heroes, Mohammed Azharuddin turned up at the Gymkhana to begin a new innings not only for himself but, more importantly, for his older son Mohammad Asaduddin just 21 days after they lost their dear one Ayazuddin.
According to a source close to the family, Abbas (as Asad is known) has been the most affected as the brothers were very close. "It was wise on the part of Azhar to get Abbas to the ground so that the youngster can overcome his grief," said the source.
Or maybe it was Azhar's way of making it up for, as claimed by many, his absence when his sons were growing up. One cannot vouch for it but on this day, he was a doting father of a 20-year old son.
Azhar was as excited as a teenager. The Moradabad MP didn't give any indication of his state of mind or the terrible tragedy that he had gone through. He was as composed as ever and very sparse with his words and smiles.
Asad was more withdrawn and it looked as if he still hadn't got over the tragedy. Azhar bowled, gave a couple of fast bowlers some tips, exhibited some superb pick up and throws and was behind the stumps as his son batted.
The man who had the 'best wrists in the game' was a bit edgy when he saw the left-handed Asad not being able to play with a straight bat or hit in the 'V'.
Couple of mis-hits and edges, Azhar rushed to Asad. He took the bat and showed his son how to play and also use his wrists so that the ball doesn't go up in the air.
The father-coach combination may not always work but on this day Azhar was keen that he gets Asad to concentrate on his game.
Asad soaked in all that his father said but Azhar didn't seem to be satisfied. He got his son further help in the form of Vijay Mohan Raj. The former Hyderabad southpaw spent some time giving Asad further words of wisdom.
After the net session, it was time for Azhar to catch up with old pals - seniors, teammates, and some juniors too. Among them were new Hyderabad coach Sunil Joshi, Kanwaljit Singh, Noel David, Zakir Hussain, Vanka Pratap, Arvind Shetty and a couple of HCA officials. Azhar also had a lengthy chat with HCA and BCCI vice-president N Shivlal Yadav.
In the more than two-hour stay at the Gymkhana, the 48-year old showed that he is still the fielder to beat in Hyderabad cricket. He doesn't seem to have lost any of his agility or quickness.
More importantly, he may have been broken by the tragedy but Azhar is not willing to get bitter and instead wants to make it better at least for Asad.
Azharuddin also interacted with the Hyderabad T20 team at the request of coach Joshi. Fielding coach David introduced the players to the legend and he shook hands with each of them.