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Five years after the Andhra High Court absolved him of all charges, the BCCI is going to discuss Mohammad Azharuddin’s No Objection Certificate (NOC) and pending payments during the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and office-bearers meeting in Delhi on Wednesday. “We are discussing the Azharuddin issue during our meeting with the CoA day after tomorrow (Wednesday). The Sreesanth issue the CoA may take up, but we have to wait for the opinion of the BCCI legal team,” a top cricket board official told The Indian Express.The BCCI has traditionally shown reluctance to overturn life bans on players — Sreesanth’s ban, too, wasn’t lifted after a 2015 Delhi trial court order cleared the fast bowler — based on the findings of its disciplinary committees.
Azhar had been slapped with a life ban for alleged match-fixing in the aftermath of the Cronjegate in 2000. In 2012, however, the Andhra Pradesh High Court held the BCCI action “illegal” and “unsustainable”. But Azhar’s home state association, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), didn’t receive an NOC on the former India captain, at least until early 2017. It resulted in Azhar’s nomination being rejected for the post of HCA president, with question marks remaining over his eligibility.
“Yes, Azhar has filed his nomination before the returning officer but the HCA hasn’t received any confirmation from the BCCI, saying that his life ban is lifted. I think he needs BCCI clearance for his nomination to be accepted. Also, a by-law of the HCA constitution says that to contest for the post of president, one has to serve at least one term as an executive council member and another as office-bearer. Azhar doesn’t fulfil that as well,” former HCA president Arshad Ayub had said. Azhar has been attending BCCI functions of late, but apart from the NOC, he hasn’t received the pension and one-time ex-gratia payment. According to a source, Azhar had contacted the CoA in this regard. shamik chakrabarty