Azhar backs out, Verma re-elected BAI chief

The face off between Azhar and V K Verma ended in a damp squib.

Chennai: The much-anticipated face off between Mohd Azharuddin and V K Verma ended in a damp squib on Sunday after the former cricketer backed out of the Badminton Association of India elections, clearing the decks for a
fourth term for the incumbent.

Verma, who has been at the helm for 12 years, was
re-elected at the BAI`s Annual General Meeting here after
Azharuddin failed to present nomination papers as is required
in the Association`s constitution.

The AGM, meanwhile, is still on to elect other BAI

Azharuddin, a cricketer-turned-politician who is
representing Moradabad in Lok Sabha, has not even turned up in
the city, sources said.

"He needed to present his papers in the meeting and he
didn`t do this. Outsiders are allowed to contest but there has
to be a proposer for that person`s name. BAI didn`t get that,"
a source told reporters.

The former captain, who was reportedly backed by the
Sports Ministry, had earlier approached the sessions court in
Andhra Pradesh`s Rangareddy district seeking a stay on the
election but his plea was rejected.

Azharuddin had kicked up quite a storm by announcing his
candidature for the elections with Verma initially claiming
that the ex-captain was `ineligible` to contest as he was
serving a life ban for alleged match-fixing.

The Sports Ministry too had its say on the matter and had
accused BAI of not informing it about the elections as is
required by norms.

It later appointed an observer, Deepika Kacchal, for the
elections despite vehement opposition from BAI.


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