Azharuddin to take legal action against HCA officials

Hyderabad, Jan 13 (IANS) Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin on Saturday said he was contemplating legal action against the officials who prevented him from contesting elections to Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) despite BCCI giving the green signal.

He told reporters that he will take legal action against HCA’s ad hoc committee chairman Prakash Jain,and others who hid an email communication from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) stating that he is free to contest for the post of president of HCA.

At a news conference here, the former captain read out the email sent on January 10, 2017 in which the BCCI made it clear that it no longer debars him from holding any position in the ICC or BCCI or its affiliated associations.

As the board had not challenged the order of Andhra Pradesh High Court lifting life ban on Azharuddin, it said the former captain was free to contest.

Azhar, as the former captain popularly known, said despite this communication from BCCI, he was not allowed to contest the elections held on January 17. “This was violation of fundamental right. It was a criminal act,” said the former player, whose nomination was rejected by returning officer K. Rajeev Reddy citing the BCCI ban for his alleged involvement in match-fixing.

Former MP and Telangana Government’s advisor G. Vivekanand was elected as HCA president.

Azhar demanded immediate resignation of Vivekanand, saying his election was illegal. He said Vivekanand could not continue on the post as all office bearers have to resign following adoption of the Lodha Committee’s recommendations and fresh elections have to be conducted.

The 54-year-old lashed out at Vivekanand for not allowing him to attend special general body meeting of HCA and making him stand outside for two hours. He said he was denied entry despite the fact that a card was issued to him by the HCA Secretary.

Azhar argued that since he played for Hyderabad and is the vice president of National Cricket Club, he was entitled to attend the meet. He rejected the claim by Vivekanand that he contested Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh and hence was registered with the cricket body there.

Azhar, who was elected to Lok Sabha from Moradabad in 2009, alleged that Viekanand through his conduct was violating all rules. He contended that Vivekanand can’t hold the post in the HCA as he enjoyed the rank of a cabinet minister in Telangana.

The former player also wondered how Vivekanand can hold Telangana Premier League in the name of his late father G. Venkatswamy under the aegis of HCA, terming it as conflict of interest.

Azhar said he had written to BCCI to take action against HCA which is “totally illegal”. He also plans to meet Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai over the issue.

He said he want to work for the development of the game and encourage talented players including those from rural areas by serving as the president of HCA. He alleged that the game was suffering because of the actions of the sitting HCA president and some other office bearers who had no knowledge of cricket.

He warned that if the current state of affairs is allowed to continue in HCA, Hyderabad would once again finish at the bottom in Ranji Trophy and under-19 and under-16 levels.

Azhar played 99 tests and 334 one-day internationals, was banned from playing cricket for life in 2000 by BCCI for his alleged involvement in match-fixing. In 2012, Andhra Pradesh High Court lifted the ban.

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