Mohammad Azharuddin’s cricketing life came full circle on Friday when the former India captain, who was indicted for match-fixing and banned forever from playing, was elected as president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA). Azhar polled 173 votes while his opponent Prakash Chand Jain got 73 votes. His entire panel won their respective contests. The victory marks his official entry into cricket administration two years after his nomination was rejected on technical grounds. He vowed to work for the welfare of his association.
“If there is progress in cricket, there will be progress in association. If association is healthy, every person will be happy. The association had not been healthy for the last three. Now, it is all clear and we will move ahead,” Azharuddin said.
The 56-year-old, who has also served as a Congress MP from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, led India to a spate of Test series wins over England, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at home in the 1990s. A stylish batsman, famous for his wrist wizardry, Azhar fell from grace after he was implicated in the 2000 match-fixing scandal that shook the core of Indian cricket. However, the Andhra High Court had ruled that the investigation against him was not conducted properly. He praised former Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath, who oversaw the HCA polls.
“When election is fair, my nomination could not have been rejected (two years ago), but (now) fair election happened. Sampath sir followed clear-cut rules and regulations. That’s why a proper election happened. No problem occurred in the election and I am very happy and thankful to members and secretaries (of districts), they elected and made me HCA president,” Azharuddin said.