Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad Azharuddin Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who was elected as the President of the Hyderabad Cricket Association last week, revealed that he will work towards unearthing talent from the remotest places of his state.

Azharuddin was one of the finest stroke players in world cricket before the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) imposed a life ban on him following his alleged involvement in a match-fixing scandal in 2000. Fifty-six-year old Azharuddin’s career ended after he had played in 99 Tests and 334 One Day Internationals. Through a fierce court battle for more than a decade, he got his ban lifted. Azharuddin has won with a huge majority bagging 147 out of the 223 votes.

In January 2017, Azharuddin was not allowed to contest the election as officers were not sure about his ban status, but this time he ensured he could contest and thus record a win. Last year he was even stopped from entering Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium. 
With elections for the top positions in BCCI to happen next month, there are chances that Azharuddin may clinch a top post in BCCI.

“We want to have all the 33 districts in the Hyderabad Cricket Association. It is very important because the districts have been neglected all this while. We want to help develop the game in the districts and draw talent from there into the Association,” he told reporters soon after his victory.

In 2009, Azharuddin joined politics and as Congress party candidate served as a Member of Parliament from 2009 to 2014. Immediately on being elected President of the Hyderabad Cricket Association, Azharuddin went and met the Hyderabad Chief Minister’s son and Minister for Information and Technology K. Taraka Rama Rao along with members of the Apex Council leading to speculation that he may join the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti Party. Azharuddin also remarked: “We have to work with the State government, which is also keen on developing the game.”