I really don’t know the reasons for banning me: Azharuddin
Mohammed Azharuddin’s rehabilitation from life ban is more than complete in many ways but the former India captain says he “doesn’t really know the reasons” for banning him in the first place. In December 2000, Azharuddin was handed a life ban by the BCCI for his involvement in match-fixing. However, after a long drawn out legal battle, Azharuddin saw the Andhra Pradesh High Court revoking the ban and terming it “illegal” in 2012.
Reminded of one of the darkest phases of his life during an interview with cricketpakistan.com website, Azharuddin said, “I don’t want to blame anyone for what happened. I really don’t know the reasons for banning me...
“...But I had decided to fight it and I am grateful that after 12 years I got cleared. I felt very satisfied when after being elected president of Hyderabad association I went and attended the BCCI AGM meeting.”
Azharuddin played 99 Tests and scored 6125 runs at an average of 45. He also played 334 ODIs, scoring 9378 runs at 36.92 during a 15-year international career that had begun with three successive centuries.
In 2019, he had a stand named after him at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium. He rung the bell at the Eden Gardens ahead of an India match the year before and the redemption continued when he was included in a group of former cricketers honoured with a lap around the iconic ground during India’s first pink-ball Test.
Though he didn’t know that the 99th Test of his career would be his last but Azharuddin says he has no regrets at missing out on completing a century of matches.
“I am a firm believer in fate and whatever is in your destiny it happens. I look at this way that nowadays if a player is a class act he ends up playing more than 100 Tests. So I don’t think this record of 99 Test matches that I hold is going to be broken,” Azharuddin said.
The former skipper said he considered himself fortunate to have got the opportunity to represent India for a long period.
“I played for around 16 to 17 years and I captained for around 10 years. What more can I ask for.”