Azharud­din re­lieved af­ter lift­ing of life ban

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

NEW DELHI

For­mer cap­tain Mo­ham­mad Azharud­din was a re­lieved man af­ter the life ban im­posed on him for al­leged in­volve­ment in match-fix­ing was set aside by the Andhra Pradesh High Court but re­fused to take le­gal ac­tion against the In­dian cricket board.

The 49-year-old, who is now a Lok Sabha MP from Mo­rad­abad in Ut­tar Pradesh, sought to struck a con­cil­ia­tory note with the body which slapped him with the ban, say­ing that he would not want to blame any­body for the pain he suf­fered in the past 12 years.

"It was a long drawn out le­gal case and it was painful. We fought in the court for 11 years. There were lots of ad­journ­ments, changes in the case. But fi­nally the ver­dict has come and I am happy that the ban has been lifted by the court," Azharud­din told a hastily-called press con­fer­ence at his res­i­dence here

Asked if he would take any le­gal ac­tion against BCCI, the for­mer cap­tain said, "I am not go­ing to take any le­gal ac­tion against any author­ity and I don't want to blame any­body for this also. It is about destiny and what­ever had to hap­pen has hap­pened. I don't have any com­plaint."

A bench of jus­tices Ashutosh Mo­hanta and Kr­ishna Mo­han Reddy of the Andhra Pradesh High Court gave re­lief to Azharud­din, al­low­ing his ap­peal chal­leng­ing the or­der of a lo­cal court, which had up­held the de­ci­sion of the BCCI.

The bench lifted the ban agree­ing with Azharud­din's coun­sel K Ra­makant Reddy's ar­gu­ment that there was no ev­i­dence against the for­mer crick­eter that he suc­cumbed to any pres­sure while play­ing cricket.

Asked per­sis­tently if the ban was il­le­gal, Azharud­din said, "That is why it was lifted. But I don't want to say much about this. I have said what­ever I wanted to say at the court through my coun­sel."

"My con­science was clear and I was not happy by the ban. But I am the per­son to take things pos­i­tively. I am happy now and want to move on," said the for­mer cap­tain who ended his Test ca­reer at 99 matches be­cause of the ban.

Azharud­din re­fused to talk about the Han­sie Cronje match-fix­ing episode, say­ing, "Han­sie Cronje is no more and it is not right to talk about it now."

The then South African cap­tain, Cronje, in his con­fes­sion for match-fix­ing, had in­di­cated that Azharud­din was the one who in­tro­duced him to the book­ies.

Azharud­din said it was im­por­tant for him to clear his name in front of the eyes of the peo­ple of his con­stituency in Mo­rad­abad.

"It was im­por­tant for me to clear my name as I am rep­re­sent­ing the peo­ple of Mo­rad­abad. I am happy now in front of them," said the Congress MP.

He said that he would be happy if he gives back to the game what­ever he had learnt in his ca­reer.

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