Cricket and only cricket, says Mohammed Azharuddin
Mohammed Azharuddin has vowed to take his state's cricket to a new level after being elected president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association yesterday. "A lot of people have helped and encouraged me in these elections and whatever I do now is for the development of the game in Hyderabad. It will be cricket and only cricket," Azharuddin told mid-day.
The former India captain, who was an accused in the match fixing scandal during the late 1990s and subsequently banned, said he was fairly confident of victory. "Over the last three days, I was getting good vibes about becoming the new president," he remarked.
He earned 173 votes and beat Prakash Chand Jain, who could get only 73. Azharuddin's panel swept the polls.
"As I said, a lot of people helped me — Shivlal Yadav, Arshad Ayub and Venkatapathy Raju — I have played with all three of them. All these years nothing was happening out here after I was illegally denied a post in the last elections. I promised myself then that I would give it my best shot to head the association," said Azharuddin.
The batting stylist, who played 99 Tests for India from 1984 to 2000, didn't give the impression that he was elated over his latest success. "I am happy, but not jubilant. I never used to be ecstatic even when I scored my hundreds, so it's the same here. There is work to be done. I always wonder why there is so little Hyderabad representation in the Indian Premier League teams. It's time for some serious talent hunting in the interiors and I along with my team will concentrate on the development aspect of our cricket," said Azharuddin.
His victory comes close on the heels of former teammate Sourav Ganguly becoming Cricket Association of Bengal chief again and while Ganguly made his ODI and Test debut under Azharuddin, the Hyderabad man acknowledged that Ganguly was more "established" than him in the cricket administration sphere.
Asked if he would accept a significant role in the running of the BCCI post the Board elections, Azharuddin said: "I don't think they will offer me any role because I am just starting out. However, I will shirk no responsibility and I must stress that Hyderabad cricket is first and foremost for me."
With inputs from PTI
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