Twelve years after BCCI imposed a life ban on Mohammad Azharduddin from playing cricket, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday set aside the decision of the cricket body.
A bench of justices Ashutosh Mohanta and Krishna Mohan Reddy gave relief to former Indian skipper-turned-politician Azharuddin, allowing his appeal challenging the order of a local court, which had upheld the decision of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The bench lifted the ban agreeing with Azharuddin's counsel K Ramakant Reddy's argument that there was no evidence against the former cricketer that he succumbed to any pressure while playing cricket.
The court also observed that BCCI had proceeded against 49-year-old Azharuddin unilaterally and said the order of the trial court is unsustainable.
The ban was imposed in 2000 by BCCI as per the suggestion of a three-member committee comprising its erstwhile president A C Muthaiah and two vice-presidents Kamal Morarka and K M Ram Prasad in the wake of allegations of match-fixing against Azharuddin.
In a career spanning about 15 years, Azharuddin, known for his stylish batting, had played 334 ODIs and 99 test matches.
Azharuddin later made a foray into politics and had won from Moradabad Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh on a Congress ticket.
Talking to the media after the verdict, Azharduddin said that he did not want to blame anyone. He also said that the decision was impotant for him and now his conscience was clear. He also said that he would not take legal action against anybody.