Andhra Pradesh High Court calls Azhar ban illegal
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday said the life ban imposed on Mohammad Azharuddin by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on match fixing charges was unsustainable by law, even as the former Indian skipper said he was happy because he could clear his name in the episode.
Azharuddin ruled out playing active cricket and refused to blame anybody over the entire episode saying it all was fated to happen- both the accusations and the court verdict favouring him.
A division bench of the court set aside the order given by a lower court that had upheld the ban and struck down the life ban imposed on the former Indian batsman.
"I am very happy...I don't want to blame anybody," said Azharuddin but he did not betray any emotion.
"The only thing I had in my favour is infinite patience," the former Indian captain said.
"From the point of view of cricket, it is very important that my name has been cleared," he said.
When asked whether he would play cricket, the Hyderabadi said: "Do you think I can play? I have not played cricket in a long time."
He, however, said he wants to do something for cricket and the youngsters.
Reacting on the issue, BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla said the next step would be taken only after going through the court's decision.
"BCCI's legal team will analyze the judgement and react after that," Shukla told reporters.
Azharuddin refused to comment on late South Africa skipper Hansie Cronje's admission before the King's Commission and said that he would not make remark on someone who is no more.
Cronje,who was banned for life from professional cricket for his role in a match-fixing scandal, died in a plane crash in 2002.
In South Africa, the Justice E L King Commission of Inquiry into Cricket Match Fixing and Related Matters was investigating into the charges.
It came as a major relief to Azharuddin, when a division bench of the High Court on Thursday set aside the order given by a lower court that had upheld the ban.
The High Court struck down the life ban imposed on the former Indian batsman.
The BCCI in 2000 banned Azharuddin from playing cricket for life after he was found guilty of match-fixing.
Azharuddin earlier challenged the BCCI's decision in the City Civil Court that had upheld the ban.
The Hyderabadi then moved to the high court against the order given by the lower court.
His lawyers had argued that the Indian cricket board had imposed the ban without any evidence.
Azharuddin, had played 99 Test matches for India and scored 6215 runs.
He played 334 one-dayers and scored 9378 runs during his career.