Thatscricket - News - Azhar starts legal action against BCCI on ban

Published: Monday, January 29, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: Former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin on Monday initiated legal proceedings against the decision to ban him for life after being accused of match-fixing, his lawyer said."We have taken the first steps towards fighting the injustice meted out to Azharuddin," lawyer T Jagdeeshan told AFP. An application for filing a case had been made before a civil court in Azharuddin's home city of Hyderabad, the lawyer said, adding formal proceedings were expected to begin shortly.The case has been filed against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), its president Dr A C Muthiah and special investigator K Madhavan."We will seek revocation of the ban as my client is innocent and the BCCI has not followed proper legal procedure in taking action against him," Jagdeeshan said.The BCCI banned Azharuddin and former Test star Ajay Sharma for life and suspended Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar for five years, after they were found guilty of wrongdoing by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).The BCCI's own internal inquiry, headed by Madhavan, a former CBI director, endorsed the CBI's charge that Azharuddin was involved in match-fixing and found Sharma, Prabhakar and Jadeja guilty of hobnobbing with bookmakers.All four cricketers have denied the charges against them, but Azharuddin is the first to challenge the decision in court.Former federal law minister Hansraj Bharadwaj, who spoke to reporters last month on behalf of the cricketer, said Azharuddin had been made "a scapegoat"."The real culprits are the big wigs who run the game. I am surprised that the BCCI's role in match-fixing has not been investigated."Jagdeeshan said the right procedure should have been an independent inquiry by a sitting judge, as was done in South Africa where judge Edwin King probed the Hansie Cronje affair."Neither Madhavan nor the CBI have a legal standing," he said. "We will question the legal credentials of the people who have investigated the case."Azharuddin himself was not available for comment on Monday after the case was filed.But the unrepentant cricketer told the a weekly magazine recently that some Bombay-based cricketers were not "investigated properly" and had escaped the match-fixing investigators' dragnet.Azharuddin will now go into the record books as the only cricketer in the world to be stranded on 99 Test appearances. He has also played more One-dayers (334) than any other player in the world.

Copyright AFP 2000

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