From being one of the most successful Indian captains - to having served 'ban for life' on match-fixing allegations to redemption as Hyderabad Cricket Association president - life has come to a full circle for Mohammad Azharuddin as far as cricket is concerned.
"Never thought in my life I will be the president of Hyderabad Cricket Association one day. But here I am. Yes, I am very happy for the opportunity given to me. Now, its time for me to get my acts together and work towards restructuring and resurrecting the administration and cricket in Hyderabad," Azhar told Republic TV on a telephonic interview from Hyderabad after assuming office of HCA president.
Azhar, who was stopped from attending the SGM in 2017, has come back with a thumping 74 votes victory leading his team into a one-sided contest as all six members of his team were elected with a landslide victory. "I fought on issues plaguing Hyderabad cricket. We had a great campaign and having fought Lok Sabha election twice I knew I was winning. Now its time to fulfil the promises. The administration and cricket reportedly faced several challenges in the last 3-4 years. I will work for the revival of cricket in Hyderabad, a city which has produced fabulous and great cricketers over the years. I want to work for them," Azhar said."The infighting between various groups must stop and only focus should be on cricket and its development. I pledge to work in that direction," he added.
“I will restructure everything and turn things around. I know it won’t be easy but I will give my best to revive the game which has suffered a lot in the last three years. I will seek support from all the club secretaries and take the game forward. We need to get to the grassroots and unearth talent now,” Azhar said.
“I am really looking forward to BCCI meetings because I have so much to offer, having played the game for quite a while. I have represented the BCCI on teams but now to deal with the Board as an administrator will be different — this should be much easier than playing", he added.
Azhar refused to shed light on the past and his difficult times and said he was eager for a fresh start and only cricket was on his mind. In January 2017, Azhar was disqualified from contesting for President after his nomination papers were not accepted by election officers as they were uncertain whether the life ban imposed on him by the BCCI for match-fixing, still remained. HCA’s ad-hoc committee Chairman Prakash Chand Jain had sought clarification regarding Azhar’s eligibility but nothing concrete had come from the national cricket board.