Azhar determined to clear HCA ‘mess’

The former India captain says his fight against a section of the ruling faction in the Hyderabad Cricket Association is not a “battle for personal benefits but for the players’ cause.”

Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin at Gymkhana Ground in Hyderabad on Saturday.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin made a ‘symbolic’ move to demonstrate that his fight against a section of the ruling group in the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) is not a “battle for personal benefits but for the players’ cause.”

After an informal interaction with many players, including a few Ranji players and women cricketers, Azhar walked across to the pitch at Gymkhana Ground and quite naturally turned nostalgic.

“I have many fond and great memories of this ground,” was his first reaction. It was here that the former BCCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur made the famous statement in 1990 — “kya miyan, captain banogey (will you become the captain of Indian team?),” he recollected, in an interaction with Sportstar.

“Yes, I want [those] glory days back for Hyderabad cricket. I am here to protect these players’ interest. It is not a battle for any personal gains,” Azhar insisted.

‘Determined to give back’

But doesn’t he think that the players are being caught unwittingly into this politicking in the HCA? “I don’t think so. They have nothing to fear. We are all here to safeguard their interests. That’s why I say all the officials should quit and sit at home,” Azhar said.

“I am determined to give back to Hyderabad cricket. No one can stop me from doing so for the game and players are my top priority. This fight will continue till the mess is cleared,” he said.

“I hope the the HCA senior zonal one-day cricket championship for Lala Harbans Rai Trophy will commence next week as planned by the secretary T. Seshnarayan,” Azhar concluded.

HCA secretary suspended

Hyderabad Cricket Association secretary T. Seshnarayan has been suspended for running parallel administration and repeatedly violating the rules, according to Dr. K. Anil Kumar, in-charge president of HCA.

“The decision has to be taken after long deliberations in the Apex Council this evening as we are left with no option,” Anil informed Sportstar. “Yes, we will be informing the BCCI about this decision and necessary follow-up measures will be taken to protect the interests of the game and the players,” he said.

“The Council also tentatively decided that the Annual General Meeting may be held on September 16 or 23,” Anil said.

“We have not taken a decision on conducting the zonal cricket championship (it has become the bone of contention with Seshnarayan faction going ahead with its plans from next week). We will finalise that schedule once the ongoing leagues are completed,” Anil said.

Interestingly, the Council meeting was held at the same time when Azhar was at the venue in the evening to lend his support for the conduct of the zonals next week by Seshnarayan faction.

Meanwhile, Seshnarayan also issued a statement — “Dr. Anil has been suspended for violating the rules.”