Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin lashed out at the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) for not allowing him to attend the special general meeting (SGM) held at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday.
Azharuddin was made to wait outside the gate for an hour and later denied entry at an SGM of the HCA. The meeting was scheduled on Sunday to adopt the recommendations of the Justice RM Lodha committee.
"It was so embarrassing. Sorry I don't want to say, I was made to wait outside for one hour. I have captained India for 10 years and I am from here, Hyderabad. These people don't know A-B-C-D of cricket. They have never held a bat or ball," a furious Azharuddin was quoted as saying by the International Bussiness Times.
"I wonder according to which Lodha guidelines the office-bearers are still in power. The image of the HCA itself has taken a beating. Cricket is different from politics and it's the cricketers who are suffering the most. My fight is not against any individual, but against the system riddled with flaws," added the former right-handed batsman, who played 99 Tests for India.
The 54-year-old former batsman also questioned the legitimacy of the meeting: "This is an illegal body with the president (G Vivekanand) himself facing a conflict of interest by being advisor to the state government. The irony is that this is the fourth meeting being convened by the ruling group to implement the Justice Lodha committee recommendations," he said.
Azharuddin later added that he was grateful that former president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Shivlal Yadav and V Hanumantha Rao supported his cause so that he could attend the meeting. Members of HCA also questioned Vivekanand's move to stop Azharuddin from attending the SGM.
HCA president Vivekanand later said, "We needed to endorse the Lodha panel guidelines to get funds to run the show. We will not back out just because someone is indulging in false allegations. We are here to serve the game in the best interests of the players."