Azhar eyes reprieve after Jadeja~~s ban overturned

Published: Tuesday, January 28, 2003, 18:42 [IST]
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New Delhi: Banned former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin saw a ray of hope on Tuesday after teammate Ajay Jadeja was absolved of any wrong-doing in the match-fixing scandal. An arbitrator of the Delhi High Court on Monday overturned a five-year ban imposed on Jadeja by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), saying there was no proof he was guilty. Azharuddin, who was given a life ban following the match-fixing inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), voiced confidence that he too would be absolved by another court where he had challenged the ban. "He (Azhar) was confident that justice will be meted out to him too," the former captain's lawyer Arun Bharadwaj said. "The BCCI ban is both illegal and against the principle of natural justice and we will now examine the order on Jadeja and use it to substantiate our argument in Azharuddin's case." Azharuddin had filed his appeal in a court in his home town of Hyderabad soon after he, along with Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar and Ajay Sharma, was suspended in December 2000 by the BCCI. Azharuddin's lawyer Bharadwaj expressed the hope that his client would soon be absolved. "The cases (of Jadeja and Azharuddin) are very similar in nature, the allegations are similar and the BCCI's evidence in both cases is similar and based more on hearsay than anything else," he said. Kapil Dev, the legendary all-rounder, said Jadeja still had a few years of cricket left in him. "In fact, I would say that if the court's decision had come a few months earlier, Jadeja may well have been playing in the World Cup."

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