Indian Cricket Board President Sharad Pawar on Sunday defended BCCI's decision to felicitate Mohammed Azharuddin, saying the former captain had served the country well and deserved to be honoured.
"Why not? He had done so much for the country," Pawar told reporters when asked to comment on BCCI's decision.
The ICC has disapproved of the BCCI's decision to send an invitation to Azharuddin, banned for life from all levels of the game for his alleged involvement in match-fixing, for the inauguration of its new headquarters in Mumbai on November 4.
Dave Richardson, ICC General Manager of Operations, said the BCCI should follow the norms before deciding to bring Azharuddin back into the fold.
"The fact is that he has been banned. We have to live with that. There is a process to be followed if that ban is to be lifted," Richardson said on the sidelines of a function here.
Pawar, however, echoed the views of his predecessor and Punjab Cricket Association chief IS Bindra who said the ICC was following double standards when it came to dealing with players accused of match-fixing from India and other countries.
"There are other countries fielding tainted players like (Herschelle) Gibbs and (Shane) Warne. We are not playing him (Azharuddin). Why, there is no question of that. He is not going to play anymore," Pawar said during an informal chat with newspersons.
Azharuddin will be among the former Indian captains who will be felicitated by the BCCI at the function.