Former India captain, Mohd Azharuddin, was not only elected president of Hyderabad Cricket Association but also led his panel to a near-sweep in the elections held at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday.
Azhar polled 147 votes compared to his nearest rival Prakash Chand Jain’s 73 while, the third contestant Dilip Kumar could get only three votes.
In another crucial election for the Secretary’s post, former Secretary Seshadri Venkateshwaran suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of R. Vijayanand polling 62 votes to the latter who emerged victorious with 137 votes. R.M. Bhaskar of the third panel finished third with 24 votes.
Former Secretary K. John Manoj was elected as vice-president polling 136 votes compared to the nearest rival Daljit Singh (87 votes).
In the battle for joint secretary's post, Azhar's panel member Naresh Sharma, who was earlier HCA Treasurer, defeated his nearest rival and former Ranji cricketer J. Shivaji Yadav by 130-82 votes while Satish Srivatsava polled eight votes.
Surinder Kumar Agarwal won the treasurer’s post polling 141 against the near rival Hanumanth Reddy’s 60 and Babu Rao Sagar got 22 votes.
For the Councillor's post, P. Anuradha emerged winner with 103 points while Ravinder Singh (81) and Vinod Kumar (38) finished second and third respectively.
Later, a delighted Azhar in a chat with Sportstar thanked the voters even while reminding that his job of ensuring a corruption-free and clean administration begins now.
“I sincerely thank all those who supported me and also my panel members in this election. They have done their job and the onus is on us to implement every promise we made before the election,” he said.
“For the top three priorities are the same – to improve cricket and the welfare of the players. As a player, I am aware what exactly the players look from the Association and I promise them that I will not disappoint them,” Azhar said.
“Yes, this huge win is a big responsibility on me and I make it clear that I will take everyone with me as the intention of the majority of the members is to revive the old glory of Hyderabad cricket,” he said.
“I promise that we will not be confined to only mere promising but will deliver the goods. You will all see the change in how the HCA will be run in the coming days. I always believed that a Cricket Association has to be run in a professional manner and not like a personal fiefdom of a few. I assure everyone that a new phase of cricket administration will be ushered in HCA,” Azhar concluded.
Behera elected as OCA secretary
Sanjay Behera was elected the secretary of Odisha Cricket Association (OCA) while his father, arrested sports administrator, Ashirbad, voted from jail.
The election, however, can turn “null and void” as any charge-sheeted person cannot take part in the poll process.
In a direct contest for the coveted secretary’s post of the OCA, Sanjay defeated another veteran sports administrator Naba Ranjan Patnaik by 20 votes.
(With inputs from PTI)