G Vivekanand feels hard done by at the Hyderabad Cricket Association
Hyderabad: Former Hyderabad Cricket Association president G. Vivekanand feels he’s been handed a raw deal after his nomination papers for Friday’s HCA elections were rejected by the Electoral Officer on grounds of conflict of interest.
His company Visaka Industries had a sponsorship contract with the HCA that fell apart.
“The contract between Visaka and HCA over sponsorship rights at the RGCIS was cancelled back in 2011 and there has been no appeal over it. The matter then went into arbitration, where we got an award of Rs 24 crore towards damages, but we are yet to get that money. Later, my post was snatched from me based on wrong facts, and now I am not allowed to contest the elections. I have lost my money, rights and post too. This is unfair, injustice,” Vivek told a press conference on Tuesday.
However, he does not plan to contest the disqualification. “I have to abide by the Electoral Officer’s decision.”
Taking a swipe at some contestants, he said: “Officials who have been implicated in the Ernst & Young report (that deals with corruption in the HCA) which is part of the High Court proceedings have been found eligible to contest the elections.”
Vivek also trained his guns on former Indian captain and presidential candidate Mohammad Azharuddin, who is leading the rival panel at the hustings. “It’s an irony that Azharuddin, who has admitted to fixing matches in front of the BCCI’s disciplinary committee, is eligible to run for office while we, who have contributed in many ways to the HCA — including providing financial support when the Association was desperate for funds during the construction of the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium — have been kept of the fray,” he told a press conference.
“I reiterate, the BCCI has still not lifted the ban on Azhar. There is no document to prove otherwise,” he contended, adding “that decision can only be taken in the General Body, a fact that is recorded in the minutes of a meeting held by the Committee of Administrators after Azhar approached them to lift the ban following the High Court ruling.”
“The HCA is straying, and needs to be brought back on track. I have faith in all the club secretaries who will discern what is just and put their wisdom to good use by casting their votes for the right people at the polls,” Vivek said.
Vivek also sought to involve Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao in the game. “The CM’s family wants to have a say in sports bodies also. He wants his daughter to head the Hyderabad Cricket Association, and had hinted strongly at that during the previous elections in 2017. I had resisted. Now, there is an understanding between the Azharuddin-led panel and KTR to make Kavita the HCA president in the next term. Even though the Congress (of which Azhar is a former MP) and TRS are at loggerheads politically, they are hand in glove at the HCA polls, reason why KTR is campaigning for Azhar,” he said.
Vivek also refuted allegations that he knew little about the game. “Some people say I have never played cricket, they are ill-informed. I was captain of the Osmania Medical College team that used to play in the HCA’s ‘B’ Division league. I was the opening batsman,” he clarified, adding, “Azhar has played the game at such a high level but what has he done to promote players from Hyderabad? At least I have contributed towards the construction of the stadium here. When I was president, I had also invited him to come and train a few players.”