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Azharuddin urges BCCI to give players who have served fixing bans another chance

Former India skipper, Mohd Azharuddin, who was banned for life from cricket in 2000 for match-fixing, wants players punished for corruption in the game to be allowed to play once they have served their suspensions.

cricket Updated: Feb 23, 2017 23:30 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times
mohammad azharudddin,bcci,board of control for cricket in india
India pacer, S Sreesanth, wants the BCCI to allow him to play as the Delhi High Court has quashed the case filed against him and two other players of Rajasthan Royals alleging spot-fixing in the 2013 IPL.(Hindustan Times via Getty Images)


Former India skipper, Mohammad Azharuddin, who was banned for life in 2000 for match-fixing, urged cricket authorities to let those who have served punishment for corruption in the game to return to playing, backing pacer S Sreesanth to return to playing.

Azharuddin was banned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India following an internal probe following a Central Bureau of Investigation report into match-fixing in India. He fought a long court battle, and the Andhra Pradesh High Court eventually ruled the ban illegal in 2012. In January, he was ruled ineligible to contest the Hyderabad Cricket Association elections in January amid uncertainty whether the ban stood lifted.

Azharuddin, who has served as a Lok Sabha MP since the ban, said on Thursday: “Anyone can make mistakes… such cricketers should be given a second chance.” Azharuddin was answering a question on S Sreesanth.

The India pacer was banned by BCCI for alleged involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. The Delhi High Court dismissed the case registered by the Delhi Police under provisions for organised crime (MCOCA). Sreesanth has not been allowed play any official cricket and recently, the BCCI refused him permission to play in Scotland.

Read more | S Sreesanth writes to COA head Vinod Rai to look into his ban

Former India players, Ajay Jadeja, and Manoj Prabhakar, who were slapped five-year bans along with Azharuddin in 2000, returned to the official fold. Jadeja played first-class cricket while Prabhakar was Delhi Ranji team coach.

Azharuddin also criticised owners of the Rising Pune Supergiants for replacing former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Steve Smith to lead the IPL team this season.

“Dhoni has remained a big captain and does not deserve such ill-treatment”, he said. The IPL is about India and Indian players should be given more opportunity than less experienced foreign cricketers, he added.

First Published: Feb 23, 2017 19:40 IST