A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: BCCI ‘defers’ decision about Mohammad Azharuddin’s life ban

The BCCI are still deciding whether to appeal the removal of Azharuddin’s life ban in the Supreme Court

Just a month after former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin had his life ban lifted by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) stepped in and announced that they would be reviewing the court’s decision, but could not come to an agreement at the end of their first meeting and have thus chosen to “defer” the decision until a later date.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court branded the BCCI’s life ban on Azharuddin as “unsustainable” when delivering the verdict on November 8.

A BCCI insider, who refused to be named, stated that the board had chosen to defer the meeting mainly due to “complications in the judgment order”.

“Nowhere does the judgment mention that he [Azharuddin] did not indulge in match-fixing,” the insider told ESPNcricinfo. “At the same time, the honourable court has lashed out at the then BCCI president [AC Muthiah] for unilaterally conducting the enquiry and imposing a ban. So it’s a tough call for the board as to how to perceive the verdict, the board will take as much time as it takes before arriving at a conclusion.”

Azharuddin was banned after India’s central investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), exposed dealings between international cricketers, which included the former India captain, and bookies.

Deceased South Africa captain Hansie Cronje was also named and, just like Azharuddin, he was slapped with a life ban as well.

Acting on the findings of the CBI and an inquiry carried out by K Madhavan, the BCCI banned former Test player Ajay Sharma for life and also handed down five-year bans to Ajay Jadeja, Manoj Prabhakar and physiotherapist Ali Irani.

Jadeja, a former Test cricketer in his own right, had his five-year ban lifted by the Delhi High Court in 2003 and was allowed to play first-class cricket again, while Azharuddin, on the other hand, has been fighting to clear his name for over a decade.

As of right now, the BCCI have not decided if they are going to appeal against the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s verdict in the Supreme Court.

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