10 January, Hyderabad
Former India cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin on Tuesday filed nomination for the post of president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA).
After filing the nomination papers, he exuded confidence of winning the election, likely to be held later this month.
The post fell vacant after Arshad Ayub had to relinquish his post following the Supreme Court verdict on the Lodha Committee reforms.
The 53-year-old is not a voter in HCA but maintained that he has the right to contest the elections in the wake of the Lodha Committee reforms.
The former Member of Parliament said that his basic intention is to see that the game of cricket flourish in Hyderabad and the rest of Telangana. He expressed concern over the poor state of affairs in HCA and said he would like to set right the things and focus on the game.
“There are no funds even to host a cricket match. The cricket board gave so much money to HCA but I don’t know what happened to that,” he said in an obvious reference to the corruption allegations against some HCA office bearers.
Azhar said the HCA had also confined itself to the city and did not take any steps to promote the game in other parts of Telangana.
HCA officials said Azhar came with an order from a lower court that HCA elections should be held this month. They pointed out that normally the elections are conducted on the last Sunday of May.
This is the first time that Azhar is making a bid to enter the cricket administration in his home town.
One of India’s longest-serving captains, Azhar was banned for life by the BCCI for his alleged involvement in the match-fixing scandal in 2000.
Azhar had challenged the ban in the Andhra Pradesh High Court, which struck down the board’s decision terming it illegal, in 2012. However, the BCCI officially did not lift the ban on Azhar, whose career had already come to an end.
Azhar, who had shot to fame by hitting three consecutive centuries on debut in 1984-85, was one of the India’s finest batsmen and most successful captains. He played 99 Tests and 334 One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
The Hyderabadi entered politics in 2009 and was elected to Lok Sabha from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh. However, last year he lost the polls from Rajasthan’s Tonk-Sawai Madhopur constituency.