Twelve years after the Board of Control for Cricket in India imposed a life ban on Mohammad Azharduddin from playing cricket, following his alleged involvement in the match-fixing episode, the Andhra Pradesh high court, on Thursday, set aside the cricket body's decision.
A bench, comprising justices Ashutosh Mohanta and Krishna Mohan Reddy, gave relief to the former Indian skipper-turned-politician, allowing his appeal challenging the order of a local court, which had upheld BCCI's decision.
The bench lifted the ban, agreeing with Azharuddin's counsel K Ramakant Reddy's argument that there was no evidence against the former cricketer that he succumbed to any pressure while playing cricket.
The court also observed that the BCCI had proceeded against the 49-year-old Azharuddin unilaterally and said the order of the trial court is unsustainable.
The BCCI imposed the ban in 2000 as per the suggestion of a three-member committee, comprising its erstwhile president A C Muthaiah and two vice-presidents Kamal Morarka and K M Ram Prasad, in the wake of allegations of match-fixing against Azharuddin.
In a career spanning around 15 years, Azharuddin, known for his stylish batting, played 334 ODIs and 99 Test matches.
He later made a foray into politics and was elected from the Moradabad Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh on a Congress ticket.