Hyderabad: The simmering differences between the office-bearers of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) that were on the boil for the last few months spilled onto the roads literally on Monday, with police preventing the Apex Council members from entering Gymkhana Grounds.
HCA president Mohammed Azharuddin has been steadfast in saying that he is committed to cleaning up the association which is mired in corruption. The naming of Justice (Retd) Deepak Verma as the Ombudsman was the trigger point between Azharuddin and the five Apex Council members. Even the former India skipper has repeatedly been saying it was approved and ratified in the April 11 Annual General Meeting, the Apex Council members said they had never approved the name of Justice Verma as the Ombudsman.
A club secretary close to Azharuddin said the Apex Council had initially agreed for Justice Verma as Ombudsman but the moment they came to know that he would broach the subject of multiple clubs, they developed cold feet. “The club secretaries by owning multiple clubs have been blackmailing the association. We want to get rid of multiple clubs’ menace and Justice Verma’s recent order was a step in the right direction,” the club secretary said.
However, HCA vice-president John Manoj said after implementation of the Lodha Committee reforms there was no individual in HCA holding multiple clubs. “We are ready to challenge this issue,” he said.
HCA secretary Vijayanand pointed out that the AGM never approved the name of Justice Verma as Ombudsman. “Let me clarify that the HCA Ombudsman is Justice (Retd) Nissar Ahmed Kakru. Therefore, HCA has no association with him (Justice Verma) of any nature and his orders are of no importance. I categorically state that Azharuddin has been suspended pending enquiry and the adjudication process is with Justice Kakru. John Manoj is our interim president,” he said.
Meanwhile, Monday’s developments left the Apex Council members stunned. “We never expected that we would be prevented from entering the association. One has to remember that Azhar came to this post through these clubs. Didn’t he know about this issue,” Manoj asked. With both groups adamant over holding the local matches separately, Manoj’s group went ahead with the new season and prepared the 33-team draw for the three-day A-Division league before today’s incident upsetting their plans. Manoj held a meeting with captains and managers of the 20 teams on the roadside.
Another club secretary from the Azhar camp said the Apex Council wanted to conduct the leagues to please some clubs. “A few of the club secretaries in the Apex Council stand to gain monetarily. Most of the three-day teams charge exorbitant money from the players. It has become a business now,” he said. The cricketers too have become victims of the dirty politics of HCA. They have an uncertain future and are confused whether to play in the three-day league or the T20 tournament proposed by Azharuddin.
However, the league controversy apart, the major worry is the running of the administration, which has come to a standstill. With things getting messier by the day, there seems to be no indication whatsoever of normal functioning returning any time soon.
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