Thatscricket - News - ~~No room for Azhar, Jadeja even if court says yes~~

Published: Thursday, February 8, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: Indian cricketers Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja will not be picked for the upcoming home series against Australia even if their appeal to play is upheld by the courts, a cricket official said on Thursday. Azharuddin and Jadeja, banned from the game after being accused of match-fixing and links with bookmakers, have both urged courts to set aside the verdict of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).Jadeja's plea for a temporary suspension of the ban will be heard in the Delhi High Court on Friday. A similar appeal by Azharuddin will come up before a civil court in the cricketer's home city of Hyderabad next Wednesday.If the respective courts uphold the appeals, both Azharuddin and Jadeja will, in theory, be eligible to play against Australia in the three-Test series starting later this month. But a senior BCCI official, speaking on condition of anonymity, shot down the players' chances of appearing for India in the home series."I can say with some certainty that Azharuddin and Jadeja will not play against Australia," the official said. "Picking national teams is the prerogative of the selectors. None of these players is on their short-list for the series."Azharuddin, 38, a former Indian captain, is one match away from joining the select 100-Test club. He has also played more One-day Internationals (334) than any player in the world. Jadeja, 30, was one of India's leading Limited-Overs players till the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) charged him with associating with bookmakers.Following the CBI report and the BCCI's own internal inquiry, Azharuddin and former Test player Ajay Sharma were banned for life, while Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar were handed a five-year suspension. Azharuddin and Jadeja have both gone to court to challenge the decision, and asked for a temporary suspension of the bans till the cases were decided.Jadeja's lawyer, Vineet Malhotra, said he hoped the courts will reverse the decisions. "We have said that no opportunity was given to Jadeja to prove his innocence," Malhotra said. "Action was taken in a pre-determined manner, without any rules and against the principles of natural justice." Malhotra said the petition argued that the five-year ban had robbed Jadeja of his livelihood.Azharuddin initiated legal proceedings on January 30 against the BCCI, its president A C Muthiah and special investigator K Madhavan for banning him for life. Muthiah said the BCCI would fight the case in court."We will answer the allegations levelled by Azharuddin in court. We will defend our actions," he said. On Azharuddin's charge that the probe against him was not fair and transparent, Muthiah said, "He might say what he wants to say. We will answer it in court."He is at liberty to go to court. He has gone to court as a citizen of this country."Azharuddin and Jadeja are not among 25 probables attending a preparatory camp in Chennai ahead of the Australian series.Copyright AFP 2000

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