Twelve years after Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) imposed a life ban on Mohammad Azharuddin from playing cricket, the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday set aside the decision of the cricket body. Talking to the media after the verdict, Azharduddin said that he did not want to blame anyone.
He also said that the decision was important for him and now his conscience was clear. He also said that he would not take legal action against anybody.
The 49-year-old, who is now a Lok Sabha MP from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, sought to struck a conciliatory note with the body which slapped him with the ban, saying that he would not want to blame anybody for the pain he suffered in the past 12 years.
"It was a long drawn out legal case and it was painful. We fought in the court for 11 years. There were lots of adjournments, changes in the case. But finally the verdict has come and I am happy that the ban has been lifted by the court," Azharuddin told a hastily-called press conference at his residence in New Delhi.
Asked if he would take any legal action against BCCI, the former captain said, "I am not going to take any legal action against any authority and I don't want to blame anybody for this also. It is about destiny and whatever had to happen has happened. I don't have any complaint."
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 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.