HYDERABAD: Ever since former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin’s nomination for the post of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president was rejected by the returning officer of the elections held in January, the former batsman has been critical of the process. After remaining silent for a few months, Azhar came down heavily on the present set of HCA office-bearers on Saturday, terming the body “illegal”.
He also accused HCA secretary T Sheshnarayan of nepotism, other than accusing him of flouting the Supreme Court order on the Lodha panel recommendations. Sheshnarayan denied the allegations. It can be noted that the former India captain’s candidature was rejected after he failed to produce documents proving that the BCCI had lifted the ban on him. Azhar had won an Andhra Pradesh High Court verdict against the ban in 2012.
Azhar said HCA office-bearers are misleading everybody by saying that they have implemented the Lodha recommendations. “They say they have implemented the recommendations. But they have not even printed the amended constitution. They have not included players’ representatives in the apex council,” Azhar said.
The player with 99 Test caps questioned the validity of HCA’s selection committee. “One member of the selection committee has played only one first-class match. The rule states that selectors must have played at least 25 first-class matches to be eligible for the job. The purpose of this conference is to inform the Supreme Court of the misconduct of the HCA office-bearers pertaining to the implementation of the recommendations.”
Asked about the deadlock between him and the BCCI regarding his life ban, he said, “I have been exonerated by the high court long back. I am waiting for the matter to be resolved. There is nothing else I can say about this.”
The Moin-ud-Dowlah Gold Cup, which begins on August 22, was also mentioned when Azhar said that HCA legal advisor Mir Masood Khan’s son, Omar Khan, was granted a place in one of the HCA teams due to his father being a “close confidante” of Sheshnarayan. “He (Omar) has not performed well enough to be selected in the team, while a lot of deserving players in the leagues have been ignored,” Azhar alleged. “Masood (Khan) was given a club by the name of Deccan Arsenals, formerly known as Nizam Club. The club was not active for 40 years .The name of the club was illegally changed without consulting the general body,” Azhar lashed out.
When Express contacted Sheshnarayan, he said the club has been a part of the HCA for three years and termed the allegations baseless.
“A court had allowed the club to be included in the HCA about three years ago. I am in possession of the documents which prove the same. We have great respect for Azhar as a player, but he is also a tainted person. We are the office-bearers by virtue of a court order. It is almost contempt of court that he is questioning the legality of this body,” the HCA secretary said.