'I am sad and disappointed. I have been cleared by the court from all charges.'
Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin's nomination paper for the post of Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president was on Saturday rejected by the returning officer.
A source in the HCA said that Azharuddin's application was rejected by returning officer K Rajiv Reddy who was not sure whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India has lifted the ban on him for alleged match-fixing and whether he is a HCA voter or not.
"His nomination paper was rejected by the returning officer on scrutiny. The returning officer wrote to the BCCI whether his ban for match fixing has been lifted or not. The BCCI did not reply," a source in the HCA said.
Another source, however, said that the returning officer should have written to the Lodha Committee instead of the BCCI.
There was also the issue of whether Azharuddin is enrolled as a HCA voter or not.
"I am sad and disappointed. I have been cleared by the court from all charges," Azharuddin said when asked about the rejection of his nomination.
Azharuddin had filed his nomination for the top post in HCA earlier this week.
The Hyderabad right-hander, who led India in three successive World Cups in 1992, 1996 and 1999, has been banned for life by the BCCI for his alleged involvement in the match-fixing scandal that rocked Indian cricket in 2000.
After a long legal battle, Azharuddin received a favourable order from the Andhra High Court in 2011, but the BCCI is yet to officially lift his ban.
One of the finest batsmen of his time, a touch artist, Azharuddin played 99 Tests for India scoring over 6000 runs and 24 hundreds.
Azharuddin elected as MP from Moradabad in 2009 but lost the elections in 2014.
A few years ago, he had shown interest in entering the Badminton Association of India (BAI) administration but later pulled out.
Image: Mohammed Azharuddin
Photograph: Chaman Gautam/Rediff archives