Hyderabad: Stung by harsh criticism after Hyderabad was overlooked as a venue for this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) edition, Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president Mohammed Azharuddin on Tuesday said it was unfortunate that the city would not be hosting a single IPL match this year.
Speaking at a media conference here, an agitated Azharuddin said: “We tried our best but in the end it was the BCCI and IPL Governing Council decision. I went to Ahmedabad and spoke to secretary Jay Shah. The Board knows best. I can only request and cannot go beyond that. We thank the State government for helping us and also K T Rama Rao sent a very positive tweet.”
“They did not give reasons for not allotting the matches to Hyderabad. They said they will do something. Nobody is playing home matches. Cases are going up if something goes wrong in some venues, we have the back up plans.”
The former Indian captain came down heavily on former office-bearers such as Shivlal Yadav.
“Why couldn’t he bring a single match to Hyderabad during the 2011 World Cup?” Azhar said
Azhar said he had been putting in a lot of effort in improving the HCA administration and the game. “We took over in September 2019, but because of Covid-19 a few months later there were a lot of restrictions and that did not help. We paid taxes which were due and not paid in the past,” he said.
Azharuddin said it was wrong to point out that he had no time for HCA. “How many times has Shivlal trained the players? What has he done? What happened to Rs 200 crore that HCA received from the Board in the past? There are no grounds except the Uppal Stadium? Where has the money gone? What have they done for the districts in the last 24 years? They are talking nonsense and there are so many cases against them.”
When asked if there were only two selectors for the Vijay Hazare one-day selections against the norm of having five selectors, Azhar came out strongly against the former players saying that they were after money. “They would ask how much money they would be getting? The senior players don’t want to do it without money. None of the players want to be on the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) as there is no money there? If you tell them there is Rs 5 lakh, they will come,” he remarked said, adding, “If no former players come, I may be forced to bring someone from outside the State to become selectors.”
Asked if the office-bearers were exerting pressure on selectors, Azhar said, “I don’t interfere in selection matters.”
However, John Manoj, HCA vice-president, said they would look into this matter. “We will ensure that mistakes will not be repeated.”
In the Annual General Meeting to be held on March 28, Azharuddin said they would appoint the long-pending Ombudsman, CEO, CAC and fill other important posts.
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