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The gentleman’s game has got dirty. The ongoing controversy involving Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) president Mohd Azharuddin took a new turn, with other office bearers questioning the former India captain becoming a mentor for a cricket club in Abu Dhabi.

HCA secretary R. Vijayanand, vice president John Manoj and treasurer Surendra Agarwal, in a joint press statement, questioned Azhar’s action, which they alleged was “never shared with either the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) or the HCA.”

Northern Warriors, a private cricket team based out of Abu Dhabi, has signed Azhar as their mentor in January, earlier this year. The team, in its official Twitter handle @nwarriorst10 announced that the “stylish and skillful @azharflicks, former captain of Team India, will be mentoring Northern Warriors in the fourth edition of the Abu Dhabi @T10 league (sic).

It also posted a video of Azharuddin saying he was “extremely proud” to share that he would be mentoring the Northern Warriors squad, and keep a close watch on strategy and planning.

The HCA office bearers and legal experts pointed out that Azhar’s new assignment would attract provisions of conflict of interest. As per BCCI norms, no office bearer of the BCCI or its affiliated bodies should engage themselves with private bodies, endorse them, solicit advertisements or use their credibility for events not recognized by either the BCCI or the International Cricket Council (ICC). The Abu Dhabi T10 League is recognized by neither of the two apex cricketing bodies.

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“Instead of focusing on the Cricket at Hyderabad, haven’t you chosen to be a Mentor to a Private Team in Dubai (at a T10 tournament) without sharing any information to either the HCA or the BCCI?” the HCA members asked Azhar.

The HCA office bearers also squarely blamed Azhar for “causing an embarrassing situation” for Justice Deepak Verma, by trying to implement his illegal decision to appoint the former Supreme Court judge as ombudsman. This, after Azhar bulldozed his way through the appointment of Justice Deepak Verma as HCA’s Ombudsman and Ethics Officer at the Association’s extended and then truncated Annual General Meeting.

All appointments made by the HCA President are in contravention of established procedures of the HCA constitution and against its traditions, they said.

They reminded that the former Indian captain did not even sign minutes of the Annual General Body Meeting (AGM) till date but was indulging in mischievous acts of making appointments, issuing statements to media and writing letters to banks, quoting the AGM minutes.

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Members of the Apex Council accused Azhar of “destroying the fabric of the HCA systematically so that you could have a junta rule.”

“However, we will not allow your undemocratic, authoritarian and destructive attitude and aptitude towards the Apex Council and the Association in general,” they stated.

They also accused Azhar of issuing identity cards to rank outsiders to take part in the AGM meeting.

The members also accused Azhar of “abrasive, crude and indecent behaviour in the (truncated) AGM held on March 28 this year.” Subsequently, “in the recent AGM-II (held on April 11) why did you run away instead of charging us? AGM-I and the AGM-II overwhelmingly rejected you.”

They also told Azhar: “The AGM has not endorsed you as the HCA’s representative at the BCCI and your self-declaration and proclamation is illegal, unconstitutional, unethical, undignified and unlawful.”

The office-bearers additionally contended that they went ahead with the November meeting without Azhar as he did not respond to requests to convene one. #KhabarLive #hydnews

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