Mohd Azharuddin,whose brilliant cricket career was cut short by match-fixing allegations nine years ago,on Thursday started a new innings by joining Congress amid indications that he may contest the Lok Sabha elections from Hyderabad.
“I have always been an admirer of Congress which fought for independence and I want to give back something to the nation by joining politics,” said the former longest serving captain of the Indian team at a press conference in the AICC headquarters where he was formally welcomed into the party after a meeting with Sonia Gandhi.
Azharuddin (47),who was banned by the BCCI from playing cricket in 2000 after a probe into his role in the match-fixing scam,parried a question whether he had joined the party to contest the coming elections from Hyderabad.
“I am not the captain now. I am a player. I can’t decide. If the party thinks I am good enough (to contest elections) I will abide by it. As of now,I don’t know anything,” he said.
Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily,who welcomed him into the party,said there was no case against him in any court in India.
“Only he has filed a case against the BCCI,” he said.
Andhra Pradesh Congress president D Srinivas was also present on the occasion when Azharuddin joined the party.