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Azharuddin Returns to Hyderabad, Stakes Claim to Cricket Club

Erstwhile Indian cricket team captain Mohammad Azharuddin on Tuesday sought to return home filing his nomination for the post of president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association, which fell vacant after incumbent Arshad Ayub had to quit following the Supreme Court verdict on Lodha Committee reforms.

Azhar, who was banned for life by the BCCI for his alleged involvement in the match-fixing scandal in 2000, moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court that turned it down in 2011 with little response from the BCCI which did not officially lift the ban. He is also not entitled to pension as a former India player. The BCCI is still apprehensive about Azharuddin’s presence anywhere near its matches and even Ranji match.

Defending his move, Azharuddin said, "Problem with Hyderabad was that cricket was not focus. We were second last in Ranji. My intention is to see that cricket in Hyderabad flourishes." He said it is being run at the whims and fancies of some individuals.

HCA Secretary John Manoj told PTI that he was aware of Azhar’s visit to file nominations. "He had an order from a lower court which allows him to contest election. Normally, HCA elections are held on last Sunday of May but Azhar has got an order which says it would be held on January 17," Manoj was quoted as having told PTI.

Before the scandal was unearthed, Azharuddin was a hero with 99 Tests, over 6000 runs and 24 hundreds to his credit. Later he went into politics and became Congress MP from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh. In 2014 he unsuccessfully contested from the Tonk-Madhopur Lok Sabha seat in Rajasthan. A Bollywood film "Azhar" on his life was released in 2015.

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