India news August 16, 2013

Azharuddin offered J&K coach position

Mohammad Azharuddin, the former India captain whose life ban for indulging in match-fixing was overturned last year by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, has been offered the post of Jammu & Kashmir coach.

Farooq Abdullah, president of the Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association, confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Azharuddin, now a Member of Parliament from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, was offered the position that has been vacant since Bishan Singh Bedi's exit after the end of last season. "We still haven't reached the final decision," Abdullah said.

Mujeeb Khan, Azharuddin's secretary, said the former batsman hadn't made up his mind. "He has been offered the post of coach by JKCA but he hasn¹t decided whether to take it or not," Mujeeb said. "They want to avail of whatever services he could render. He is seriously considering it since he is desperate to give back to the game that has been so close to his heart."

Even if Azharuddin accepts the offer, his return to the cricket field, albeit as a coach, won't be easy. When the BCCI banned Azharuddin for life in 2000, he was barred from participating in any cricketing activity. Though the ban was deemed illegal by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in November 2012, a BCCI official said Azharuddin cannot return to cricket in any role without the board's permission since the ruling has been challenged.

"The High Court verdict was based on a technicality. Nowhere did the court say he is not guilty of indulging in fixing," the board official said. "Since the proceedings to challenge the verdict have been initiated, as far as the BCCI is concerned, any association that wants to appoint him in any capacity cannot do so without the board's consent."

Since being banned, Azharuddin, 50, has had no involvement in cricket-related matters. Besides Azharuddin, Ajay Sharma was also banned for life and hasn't been active in cricket. Ajay Jadeja, whose five-year ban was overturned by the BCCI, returned to domestic cricket for a couple of seasons before becoming a cricket expert on television. Manoj Prabhakar, who was also banned for five years, turned a coach after serving his ban and was the bowling coach of Delhi.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • HANIF on August 17, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Azhar was one of finest bastmen and fielder india has ever produced. He will certainly justify himself as a coach.

  • Nandakumar on August 17, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    If a legendary cricketer like Kapil Dev can name Azharuddin in his ODI team of all time, then there is no more certification needed. Everything and everybody else can shut up and watch. Azharuddin is eligible and able to coach even the Indian Cricket team.

  • hari on August 17, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    If Srinivasan can remain BCCI President after so much revealed about his activities then why not Azhar. The fact that Kapil Dev has included Azhar in all time ODI XI shows the prowess of Azhar. As a cricketer I dont think anyone can doubt Azhar's ability. I think he was one of the finest batsman India has ever produced and the most successful captain until Dhoni overtook him. He brought back the Ranjitsinghji's wrists to the game. There is no one who can play the flick better than him in the game. Added to this his fielding has been outstanding. The present crop of fielders owe it to Azhar for their success. It was Azhar who taught the Indians how to dive and field at point or covers. I dont think life ban should stop him from coaching. His knowledge of the game is immense and he has every right to share it with budding cricketers. I am sure he will be a successful coach. In fact he looks more fit than a few of the present team members. All the best Azhar.

  • Android on August 16, 2013, 19:25 GMT

    Azhar lost his trustability long time back .no room in indian cricket

  • Rajesh on August 16, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    He should not be allowed to be active with Indian Cricket in any form. J&K cricket board should not have even approached him. Can he be a role model in any way? A life ban is a life ban.

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