Hyderabad: Former Indian skipper Mohammed Azharuddin on Monday said people were taking advantage of his silence. "People were taking advantage of my silence," Azharuddin said over phone in his in his first comments after being named in Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report on match-fixing and added that he was pained over speculative reports involving his name in media. "Every other day there is one story or the other on me. People are trying to take advantage of my silence. It is hightime that I speak out," Azhar, banned for life by the cricket board, said. He clarified he attended the 'Iftar' hosted by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on an official invitation. "I attended the Iftar parties on invitation. I don't know why my name is being dragged into the controversy so much," Azhar who remained incommunicado ever since he was named in match-fixing controversy, said. "I went to the Iftar party hosted by chief minister on Dec 22 on an invitation sent by general administration department (GAD) and my name figures against serial number 17," Azharuddin said. Expressing concern over reports in a section of press which quoted the chief minister as saying, "I did not invite him (Azhar), but if somebody greets you at a function, you just cannot brush him aside", Azhar said, "Such reports would embarrass people." "It may be handiwork of some vested interests to malign my image," he said. Azharuddin, however did not take any further questions, "I have nothing to add. I thought I should come out with the true version on this (Iftar party) and nothing else," he said. GAD officials were not available for comment. The stylish Hyderabadi batsman was cynosure at the Iftar parties hosted by Majlis Ithehadul-Muslameen chief Salauddin Owasi, where he shared the table with Mr Naidu on December 20 and was the centre of attraction at Naidu's Iftar two days later.
[an error occurred while processing this directive]