Mohd Azharuddin sets sights on HCA presidency, files nomination

"Yes, this can be the first big step towards taking much bigger steps towards donning the role of an administrator on the bigger stage," Azhar said after filing the nomination for presidency of Hyderabad Cricket Association.

Mohammad Azharuddin Hyderabad Cricket Association

Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin filing his nominations for the post of president of Hyderabad Cricket Assocation, on Tuesday.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin filed his nomination for the presidentship of Hyderabad Cricket Association on Tuesday.

A beaming Azhar, accompanied by former Ranji star Vanka Pratap and D.A.J. Walters, whose National Cricket Club facilitated his nomination, arrived at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium around 11. 30 am to file the nomination. The elections are scheduled for January 17.

He formally handed over the papers to the Returning Officer K. Rajeev Reddy in his chambers at the Stadium.

“Things are in real bad shape and I am moved by the way people have been saying so many things about Hyderabad cricket. The falling standards and the urge to do something differently and with a purpose are the reasons for me to make this move,” Azhar told Sportstar.

“Yes, this can be the first big step towards taking much bigger steps towards donning the role of an administrator on the bigger stage,” Azhar said.

The former elegant India batsman however said his decision was not an after-effect of the recent Supreme Court order suggesting a total revamp in the BCCI set-up. “I have been thinking on these lines for close to six months. I must thank Walters, Waheed and Vanka for motivating me and helping me file this nomination,” he said.

Given the track record of former players who failed to live up to the expectations as administrators, Azhar said he would try not to repeat their mistakes. “For me, cricket and cricketers will be the top-most priority. Everything else is secondary and I have not come here to make money,” Azhar insisted.

“I am not here to comment on how others have functioned. But I can assure the cricketing fraternity that I am here with a specific objective of giving a new shape and direction to the sport,” he said.

“It is a pity that Hyderabad has to import players for Ranji Trophy campaign and on the other hand some of them have opted to play for other States. These things are a reflection that all is not well in the administration,” Azhar explained.

“Any Association should be run as per the rules and regulations laid down and not according to the whims and fancies of the individuals,” he opined.

“It is a shame that there are some reports that HCA was not in a position to host the Bangladesh Test,” Azhar said.

“Let me make it clear again. Team selections should be on merit like when we played. Not like now when a set of players are called back half-way through a championship and another batch is sent. All these things really saddened me,” he said.

“I don’t think the BCCI ban on me can be an issue in my contesting for a post in HCA. It may be recalled here that the Andhra Pradesh High Court has set aside the ban four years ago. So, I don’t foresee any issue in this regard,” said a confident Azhar.

Azhar also played the Telangana card saying that it's imperative for everyone to ensure that the pride of the new State was not dented.

“I am confident of all the Secretaries of the Clubs affiliated to HCA joining hands with me in my endeavour to clean up the mess,” Azhar insisted. "And I am not bothered if there will be a contest for my post," he signed off with a big smile.

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