Hyderabad: After Mohammad Azharuddin was not allowed to attend the Special General Meeting (SGM) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president, Dr G. Vivekanand, has clarified his decision to bar him.
While speaking to ANI, the HCA president informed that Azharuddin was initially not allowed to attend Sunday’s SGM because of his alleged association with an unofficial cricket body.
“Yesterday, 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 said.
“As per our records, nowhere is mentioned that Azharrudin is a part of the National Cricket Club. Then how can he come to the association? So, we told him that on this basis we cannot allow you to attend the meeting. Actually, I saw the card and kept it with me because it was not a valid card. However, I later gave back the card to him on the police’s request”, he further explained.
Vivekanand, meanwhile, 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).
“In the last SGM in Delhi for the BCCI, I raised this question in the meeting that some former cricketers, both in Hyderabad and in Mumbai, are supporting our rival cricket association-Telangana Cricket Association. They are going and becoming the brand ambassadors. Azharuddin was a brand ambassador for Telangana Cricket Association. He went and participated in one of their programmes. So, I asked is there any sanctity for these members who are being acknowledged by BCCI whether they can go and promote associations which are campaigning against Hyderabad Cricket Association. So, they very clearly told in that meeting that you please write to us and we will take necessary actions. So, I told him very clearly that if you are campaigning against us then how can you attend our meeting”, he said.
The SGM was started in the morning to pass the Lodha Committee recommendations, but Azhar was allegedly made to stand outside for more than an hour.
However, when Azhar pointed out that he is a former Indian captain and has once represented the association, he was allowed to enter the venue.
But soon as the meeting concluded, the right-hand batsman expressed his dissatisfaction over the current state of affairs in HCA.
He raised corruption allegations against the HCA members and demanded that the association needs to be dissolved.
He also wanted other members to support his membership in the organisation to boost budding cricketers, who are denied opportunities because of the corrupt officials.
Azhar had said, “They made me wait outside for an hour. It was very embarrassing. I am a player from Hyderabad and had been the Indian team captain for ten years. These people, who are running the organisation know nothing about cricket. They had never held a bat and a ball in their life”.
“If you all support my membership, I promise I will solve your problems”, the 54-year-old added.
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 the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for life.
In 2012, the Andhra Pradesh High Court lifted the ban on him.(ANI)