Being an intl cricketer makes me HCA member: Azhar

Hyderabad [India], Jan 8 : Former cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin on Tuesday responded to allegations made by Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) President Dr G Vivekanand over his association with an unofficial cricket body and said that being an international cricketer automatically made him a part of the HCA. "I am the office-bearer of the National Cricket Club. Even if I am not, even if you reject that, I automatically become a member of the HCA for playing for India. Being an international player, I automatically become one. They are saying that they are following Lodha, if they are following Lodha then they would have allowed me," Azharuddin said, while talking to ANI. The former skipper also said that it was a valid card and he had no information about the secretary being suspended. "It is valid card; it's been signed by the secretary and issued to me on January 3. How am I going to know that the secretary is going to be suspended on January 5," he added. Azharuddin also criticised the HCA president saying that something "fishy" was going on and that the president had no explanation to offer about what happened. "Now he is saying that he didn't allow me because of the fake identification card. If I had the fake identification card, then why did you allow me? After that also, because you had the police. Once you have the police, why do you need police people for the SGM? That goes to show that there is something in his mind. Something fishy was happening. Everything that was happening is very fishy and he has no explanation," Azhar concluded. Earlier on Monday, the HCA president informed that Azharuddin was initially not allowed to attend Sunday's SGM because of his alleged association with an unofficial cricket body. "Yesterday, when Azharrudin came, he didn't get a valid ID card. The card which he was carrying to enter the stadium was the card which was signed by the suspended secretary of the association. So, one of the reasons was that he was not carrying a valid card. Secondly, the card mentioned National Cricket Club that means he is a proxy in that association. As per the Supreme Court guidelines, there should not be any proxy members attending any Special General Meeting. So we said, sorry we cannot allow you to attend the meeting on the basis of this card," Vivekanand told ANI. "As per our records, nowhere is mentioned that Azharrudin is a part of the National Cricket Club. Then how can he come to the association? So, we told him that on this basis we cannot allow you to attend the meeting. Actually, I saw the card and kept it with me because it was not a valid card. However, I later gave back the card to him on the police's request," he further explained. Vivekanand, meanwhile, also pointed out that that Azharrudin was barred to attend the HCA meeting because he was allegedly campaigning against their association and was associated as a brand ambassador of a cricket body which is not recognised by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Azhar has captained India in 47 tests during the 1990s. His international playing career came to a controversial end when he was implicated in the infamous match-fixing scandal in 2000 and subsequently banned by BCCI for life. In 2012, the Andhra Pradesh High Court lifted the ban on him.
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