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Azhar deserves the honour: Pawar
October 15, 2006 20:43 IST
The Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sharad Pawar on Sunday defended the Board's decision to felicitate Mohammed Azharuddin, saying the former captain had served the country well and deserves to be honoured.
"Why not? He had done so much for the country," Pawar told reporters when asked to comment on BCCI's decision.
The ICC has disapproved of BCCI's decision to send an invitation to Azharuddin, banned for life from all levels of the game for his alleged involvement in match-fixing, for the inauguration of its new headquarters in Mumbai on November 4.
Dave Richardson, ICC general manager (Operations), said the BCCI should follow the norms before deciding to bring Azharuddin back into the fold.
"The fact is that he has been banned. We have to live with that. There is a process to be followed if that ban is to be lifted," Richardson said on the sidelines of a function in Jaipur.
Pawar, however, echoed the views of his predecessor and Punjab Cricket Association chief I S Bindra who said the ICC is following double standards when it came to dealing with players accused of match-fixing from India and other countries.
"There are other countries fielding tainted players like [Herschelle] Gibbs and [Shane] Warne. We are not playing him [Azharuddin]. Why, there is no question of that. He is not going to play anymore," Pawar said during an informal chat with newspersons.
Azharuddin will be among former Indian captains who will be felicitated by the BCCI at the function.