HC says Mohd Azharuddin's life ban from cricket is illegal

In a huge relief for former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin, the Andhra Pradesh High Court has ruled that his life ban from cricket is unsustainable by law.

The former India captain had approached the high court against the life ban imposed by the country's cricketing body.

Azharuddin's ban is revoked until the BCCI appeals against the high court order, the former cricketer's lawyer was quoted as saying by CNN IBN.

The lifting on the ban makes him eligible for the one time benefit scheme of the BCCI and the former India captain could get up to Rs. 1.5 crore, like other former cricketers, now that the ban has been lifted.

Azharuddin scored more than 15,000 runs for India. AFP

However, it isn't clear yet whether Azharuddin can coach any BCCI recognised team. The ban on the cricketer was specifically to prevent him from playing any form of cricket and he was never chosen by any states teams or the national teams since the regional bodies did not want to upset the BCCI.

Sources said that the former captain may call a press conference once there is clarity on the court's verdict and after discussions with the BCCI.

Azharuddin had earlier admitted to fixing three ODI matches which led to the BCCI banning him from life in 2000. The ban was lifted in 2006, but even that decision was embroiled in controversy after the ICC said that only they had the right to revoke a ban.

In the same case, Ajay Jadeja and Manoj Prabhakar were suspended for five years. Test player Ajay Sharma also received a life-ban.

Even though Azharuddin himself admitted to match-fixing, there was always a question over whether he deserved a life-ban or a lesser suspension from the game. His lawyers also said that the investigation was biased in favour of the BCCI.

Azharuddin has constantly been fighting in courts for the overturn of his ban.

The former captain scored 6,216 runs in 99 Tests and 9,378 runs in 334 ODIs. After walking away from cricket, Azahruddin had taken to politics and won a seat in the Lok Sabha elections from the Congress.