In a departure from its earlier stand, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has extended an invitation to Mohammed Azharuddin for the Indian cricket team's historic 500th Test match and the former captain has accepted it.
The upcoming match against New Zealand at Kanpur will mark India's 500th game in the traditional format.
Asked about Azhar being extended invitation, senior BCCI functionary Rajeev Shukla said that he saw nothing wrong in it.
"He is also a former India captain," Shukla said.
Azharuddin was imposed a life ban for his alleged involvement in match-fixing when the scandal first broke out in 2000.
While Azhar had been acquitted by the court, the BCCI has so far avoided inviting him for official events.
Meanwhile, former captains Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar and Krishnamachari Srikkanth have accepted the invitation of BCCI and will be present during the Test at the GreenPark.
"Ajit Wadekar has informed the Board that he is not keeping well and won't be able to attend," UPCA secretary Shukla told PTI on Friday.
A specially minted silver coin with 500th Test embossed on it is being prepared for the toss.
Image: Mohammed Azharuddin
Photograph: Chaman Gautam/Rediff archives