Azhar slams 'illegal' HCA, demands fresh elections

ANI | Updated: Jan 13, 2018 17:00 IST

Hyderabad [India], Jan 13 (ANI): Days after being barred from attending a Hyderabad Cricket Association's Special General Meeting (SGM), former Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin on Saturday slammed the cricket body and termed it "illegal".

Azharuddin said he had decided to take a legal action against some of the officials of the HCA, including ad-hoc committee chairman Prakash Jain, for denying him a chance to contest in the HCA election held last year.

"I want to clarify a lot of things which were said about me by the so-called Hyderabad 'illegal' Committee," Azharuddin said.

Flashing a copy of the letter from the Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI), Azharuddin said since his life ban has been lifted, he was eligible to contest in the HCA election and to hold any position in International Cricket Council or BCCI or its state affiliated associations.

However, Azharuddin added that Jain disallowed him from contesting despite seeking a clarification on his eligibility for the same.

"The then ad hoc panel chairman of HCA Prakash Jain had sent an email to the board to clarify whether I was eligible to contest in the elections or not. He sent the email on January 10, 2017 and I think the reply came on January 10th, 2017. They didn't allow me to participate in the elections.

"It is a total violation of fundamental rights. It was criminal on their part to treat me like that. You cannot deprive any individual or citizen of India of fundamental right. And these people have done it. They had hidden the letter. They didn't want me to fight in elections," he told the media.

"I'm also trying to contemplate legal action against these officials, whoever had done it. The people who are involved during that time. It is very sad that somebody had to go down to that level being educated person," he added.

The former Indian skipper further reiterated that everything has been done in an illegal manner by the ruling group of the HCA and that there is a consistent violation of all the guidelines of the Justice (Retd) R.M Lodha-led panel recommendations on their part.

Azharrudin, however, said that he had already written to the top officials of the BCCI about what was happening in the HCA and are now waiting for a positive response.

"We'll wait for a couple of weeks before planning to meet them personally along with senior cricketers like Shivbhai (N. Shivlal Yadav), Raju and others," he said.

Earlier this month, Azharuddin was initially not allowed to attend SGM on January 7. He was allegedly made to stand outside for more than an hour.

HCA president Dr G. Vivekanand had later clarified his decision to bar Azharuddin, saying, " When Azharrudin came, he didn't get a valid ID card. The card which he was carrying to enter the stadium was the card which was signed by the suspended secretary of the association. So, one of the reasons was that he was not carrying a valid card. Secondly, the card mentioned National Cricket Club that means he is a proxy in that association. As per the Supreme Court guidelines, there should not be any proxy members attending any Special General Meeting. So we said, sorry we cannot allow you to attend the meeting on the basis of this card."

Vivekanand, meanwhile, had also pointed out that that Azharrudin was barred to attend the HCA meeting because he was allegedly campaigning against their association and was associated as a brand ambassador of a cricket body which is not recognised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Azhar has captained India in 47 tests during the 1990s. His international playing career came to a controversial end when he was implicated in the infamous match-fixing scandal in 2000 and subsequently banned by BCCI for life.

In 2012, the Andhra Pradesh High Court lifted the ban on him.(ANI)