Though BCCI members will take a call on it in future, there will be other cricketers who will also benefit if Azhar’s plea is accepted. (File photo)
The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has left it to BCCI’s annual general body to decide whether they should clear the dues of former captain Mohammad Azharuddin post his life ban for alleged match-fixing.
Azhar had written to the CoA requesting it to clear his old dues — his monthly pension and one-time benefit given to past cricketers, pointing out that the Andhra Pradesh High Court had held the BCCI ban “illegal” and “unsustainable”. Though BCCI members will take a call on it in future, there will be other cricketers who will also benefit if Azhar’s plea is accepted.
Former cricketers Ajay Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma, who too have served bans on similar charges, will also hope to get their pending dues. The BCCI had imposed a five-year ban on Jadeja, for six years on Prabhakar and a life ban on Sharma when the match-fixing scandal broke out in 2000.
“If Azhar’s plea is accepted, then indirectly, the board will have to give pending dues to the other three cricketers too who were convicted by the BCCI. The members will have to take a call when the board’s AGM takes place,” a top BCCI official said.
On a day when the CoA met BCCI office-bearers in New Delhi, Azhar was hopeful of matters being settled, especially after the Kerala High Court order to lift the life ban on S Sreesanth.
“My expectations are positive; I never think negative. The letter that I sent to the Indian cricket board was put on the agenda of the meeting so that means they are serious about it. I am hoping this case is resolved at the earliest and we move ahead,” Azhar said.
Meanwhile, the BCCI will appeal in the Supreme Court against the order of the Kerala High Court, which gave a clean chit to Sreesanth in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.
‘Decide alternate venues’
CoA head Vinod Rai is upset with BCCI’s choice of two new venues — Thiruvanantpuram and Guwahati — to host international games against Australia and Sri Lanka. The Kerala Cricket Association and Assam Cricket Association have come up with the two new venues which are yet to get the go ahead from the ICC. At the same time, it is learnt that the UP Cricket Association wants to hosts an ODI at the newly constructed Ekana Stadium in Lucknow. The CoA has asked BCCI to look for alternative venues which have the requisite ICC clearance to host international games.