New Delhi: The Indian Cricket Board is under pressure from the Congress party to revoke the life ban on former skipper Mohd Azharuddin for his alleged involvement in the 2000 match-fixing scandal.
Azharuddin, who is now a Congress MP from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, was banned for life after the BCCI found him guilty of being involved in the scandal that rocked Indian cricket.
But Congress leaders from Uttar Pradesh argue that the ban on the former captain should be lifted now because several other players, who faced similar charges, have been allowed back into the game.
In fact, some of these MPs, including Jitin Prasad, BCCI`s Finance Committee chairman Rajiv Shukla, who is also a Congress spokesman, and actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar met ICC vice-president and former BCCI president Sharad Pawar yesterday to put forth their demand.
"I spoke to BCCI president Shashank Manohar and he said that if Azhar himself shows interest in wanting the ban lifted then it can be moved forward to the Annual General Meeting and the AGM will decide," Shukla said.
"The ban on Azharuddin can be lifted only if the BCCI AGM deems it fit," he added.
Azaharuddin, an elegant right-hand batsman from Hyderabad, played 99 Tests and scored 6215 runs at an average of 45. He played a whopping 334 one-dayers, accumulating 9378 runs at an average of 36.92.