हिन्दीಕನ್ನಡമലയാളംதமிழ்తెలుగు

Azhar, Prabhakar, Sharma to go in appeal

Published: Wednesday, December 6, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Hyderabad: Former Indian captain Mohammed Azharuddin, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma who have been punished for their involvement in match-fixing, may appeal to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) against their respective punishments, sources said. "He may exercise the option available to him to appeal to the disciplinary committee of the Board to reconsider its decision to ban him for life," a family source of Azharuddin said in Hyderabad Wednesday. Family members said Azhar had been given the punishment without a thorough probe into the match-fixing issue. "It is unfortunate that the Board acted in an arbitrary manner without taking into consideration the statements made by Azhar to prove his innocence," said Abrar, Azhar's cousin. Azhar's mentor and former cricketer Shivlal Yadav said he was sad for Azhar's parents and other family members. "His grandfather must be weeping in his grave," Yadav said, recalling the days when Azhar's grandfather used to bring him to the Gymkhana grounds every morning. Yadav said he never thought that a pious and shy boy like Azhar could indulge in match-fixing. "We had to trust a person like Azhar," he added. Yadav, however, said the BCCI was not fair in awarding punishment to the guilty. He said that while Azhar had been banned for life, Ajay Jadeja had been let off with a five-year ban. "A crime is a crime and the guilty should be awarded equal punishment," he said. Qaiser Mohammad Ali reports from Delhi:

Meanwhile, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma, two cricketers who have been banned for different periods by the Indian Cricket Board for their involvement in match-fixing, too are seeking legal opinion before they appeal against the verdict, the two players said. Sharma, whose international career had effectively ended years ago, has been banned for life. Prabhakar, who retired from cricket a few years ago, has been debarred for five years. The committee set up by BCCI is headed by board president A C Muthiah. Its other members are board vice-presidents Kamal Morarka and K Ram Prasad. Morarka, who has not been in favor of any harsh punishment for the players, did not attend the meeting - apparently in protest against its decision to penalise the players. When approached for his reaction, Prabhakar initially expressed his disgust at the decision, even though he has no ambitions left to play at the international level. "Appeal to whom - the BCCI or to the court?" he asked. "I will have to talk to my lawyer with regard to the appeal." A gutsy all-rounder in his playing days, Prabhakar said that the Board only wanted to ruin him. "They just wanted to put me down," he thundered. "I will consult my lawyer before making any moves. They have left no option for me." Prabhakar said he was also ready to meet the International Cricket Council's (ICC) investigators but in the presence of BCCI officials. "I (would) love to talk to them because I trust them," he said. "They have to be fair. After all, they are not honorary officials but salaried men of the ICC. But I will not talk to them without the BCCI officials," he said. Jadeja and Sharma could not be contacted, but Sharma's wife said that her husband would not take the punishment lying down. "We will surely do something," said Sanjana Sharma. "We will talk to our lawyer and see what can be done," she said. Sanjana said that all the players named in the CBI report should have been handed similar verdicts. "Everyone should have been punished (equally)," she said. India Abroad News Service

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