Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin will offer “free expert advice” to the Goa Ranji team following the inclusion of his son Asaduddin, a Goa Cricket Association (GCA) official said on Friday.
Shadab Jakati, Goa’s highest wicket-taker, slammed the 28-year-old’s inclusion in the state team.
Asaduddin has not played a single Ranji trophy match and his inclusion has triggered a furore in the coastal state’s cricketing circles, forcing the GCA on the backfoot.
“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,” GCA Secretary Daya Pagi told reporters.
Pagi, however, said that no written agreement had been signed by the association with Azharuddin over the sharing of the latter’s expertise for the benefit of the state’s young players.
“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,” Pagi said.
Earlier in the day, Jakati, who has taken 275 wickets for Goa in 92 first-class matches and played nine editions of the Indian Premier League with teams like Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bengaluru and Gujarat Lions, slammed the GCA decision on Asaduddin.
He dubbed the decision a “joke on the cricketers of Goa”.