Azharuddin to approach High Court regarding HCA elections

Mohammad Azharuddin said it's unfair that HCA Returning Officer Rajeev Reddy rejected his nomination for the association's presidential election.

V. V. Subrahmanyam

Mohammad Azharuddin's nomination to contest the HCA presidential election was rejected by the association's secretary Rajeev Reddy.   -  V. V. Subrahmanyam

Mohammad Azharuddin feels it's unfair that Hyderabad Cricket Association's (HCA) Returning Officer Rajeev Reddy, on Saturday, rejected his nomination for the association's presidential election to be held on January 17.

After hearing the news about his nomination being rejected, Azharuddin said, he tried talking to Reddy but the latter didn't reply.

"I was sincerely requesting him to explain to me on what grounds my nomination was rejected. But he was in no mood to reply."

"The entire manner in which my nomination was rejected is in gross violation of the Justice Lodha panel recommendations which clearly suggested that any former Test cricketer can contest for any post," he said.

"It's for everyone to judge how fair the decision in rejecting my nomination and at the same time okaying the one by Dr. G. Vivekanand for presidentship, who was recently appointed as advisor to the Telangana State government, which is of a cabinet rank. This is in gross violation of the Justice Lodha panel guidelines which bars any government servant from contesting for any post in any cricket association or the BCCI," Azharuddin explained.

"I was really pleased when so many people conveyed their best wishes when I filed the nomination. And, I am hopeful of the growing support to my cause in the days to come despite today's developments," he said.

Azharuddin said he would approach the High Court after the Sankranti vacation and that he had written to the Justice Lodha panel on "the farce thrown on the HCA by the Returning Officer in the name of implementing a Court order."

"It's disgusting that a former cricketer like me, who served the country at the highest level having sacrificed so much for the love of the game is being treated in this manner. This is totally undemocratic and against the very guidelines of the Supreme Court judgement with regard to the conduct of the elections," he remarked.

"We do accept the lower Court order to let the on-going process of elections to be completed and also respect the order that the announcement of results be stayed till further orders. But, it doesn't mean that you can circumvent the whole process and deny genuine candidates like me to contest," the former Test star said.

Former president Arshad Ayub explained that Justice Lodha panel had nowhere suggested "dumping the existing constitution of the HCA or for that matter any other Association. It only suggested incorporating its guidelines suitably. So, the whole process now on is in total violation of the panel guidelines and I am sure it will not hold good in the court of Law," he said.

"The whole purpose of the ongoing election process seems to favour T. Seshnarayan (who remained the lone candidate for post of secretary) to emerge winner without a contest," said he.

HCA secretary K. John Manoj clarified that he did not get any communication from the Board of Control for Cricket in India whether it has revoked the ban on Azharuddin was lifted after the 2012 High Court order.

"But, let me tell you that I have repeatedly briefed the Returning Officer not to proceed with the election process without actually getting a clear perspective of the Justice Lodha panel guidelines and later the Supreme Court order. But he seemed to be in a hurry and is going ahead with it," said John Manoj.