Leading cricket team and leading country very different: Azhar's message for Imran Khan

As cricketers, Azharuddin and Imran Khan faced off on numerous occasions. Now, both former cricket stars have turned to politics - with varying levels of success, of course.

Leading cricket team and leading country very different: Azhar's message for Imran Khan
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Hyderabad: Congress leader and former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin on Friday said he expected cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan, whose party was eyeing to form government in Pakistan, to take bold decisions like he did while leading the neighbouring country's cricket team.

Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerged as the single largest party in the polls but was short of the majority mark. He was currently leading the race to be the country's next prime minister.

Azharuddin who faced Khan's ferocious bowling when the two were playing international matches for their respective countries some three decades ago, also said the road ahead for the former Pakistani skipper was not a bed of roses and there were many issues that he had to set right.

"The decisions he took on the cricket field were very positive, very bold and individualistic decisions as a captain. He should do that only (once he becomes prime minister of his country)," the former India captain told PTI.

"But then we will have to wait and watch what will happen. Leading a country and leading a cricket team are totally two different things. So we need to see what he will do," he added.

Asked if there would be any positive impact on Indo-Pak relations once Khan became the prime minister, Azharuddin said he had to ensure that animosity was reduced between the two neighbours.

"First of all, there are so many problems in his country. First he has to solve those problems. Then only he can look to solve other problems, he said.

He said talks could happen with Pakistan but there were many things to consider.

"But, when you have have so much of animosity and so much of infiltration was happening, I think it is very difficult for talks to take place. First those things have to stop, then only India will (come forward to) talk. They have to set right so many things," Azharuddin, a former MP, said.

He said he was yet to congratulate Khan and adding that he was happy to see a cricketer become the prime minister of a country which was a very rare thing. 

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