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Updated: June 6, 2010 02:24 IST

Mohammad Azharuddin to contest for BAI presidentship

Special Correspondent
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Former Indian cricket skipper Mohamad Azharuddin. File photo
PTI Former Indian cricket skipper Mohamad Azharuddin. File photo

Mohammad Azharuddin has jumped into the fray for the post of president in the Badminton Association of India (BAI) elections to be held in Chennai on June 13.

The former cricketer-turned Member of Parliament from Congress addressed a press conference here on Saturday announcing his candidature against the present incumbent Mr. V. K. Verma, who has been holding the post for the last 12 years.

Azharuddin promised to take the sport to the next level by bringing in more sponsorship into the game and said his “love for the sport” had made him contest the elections for the highest post. “Unless you are the president, you cannot do much to help any sport. Since cricket is managed well, I thought of contributing my bit to help India become one among the top three countries in the world. I was really pained to see the state of the hockey players ahead of the World Cup this year.”

When asked about Azharuddin’s eligibility to contest the elections, his legal advisor Aruneshwar Gupta said the BAI constitution allowed anyone to contest for the posts of President and Secretary without being a member of any state association.

However, when contacted, Mr. Verma stated that a candidate’s name had to be proposed and seconded by member units. “So far, 11 units of the BAI have written to me to put to vote on June 13, the eligibility of Azaharuddin to contest the elections. Since Azharuddin has been serving a life ban imposed by the BCCI, our position on the question of moral turpitude is the same as that of the cricket board, viz a viz the Union Sports Ministry.

“If the house votes in favour of Azharuddin contesting the elections, he still cannot attend the meeting since only delegates, authorised by member units can attend.

“In the past couple of days, several state association office bearers have informed me that pressure from the Union Government had been exerted on them to back Azharuddin’s candidature. Many Government Boards (like Railways, Air India, Petroleum etc) are being summoned to propose/second Azharuddin’s name in the meeting. In a fair and transparent election, without government pressure, I am confident of winning,” said Mr. Verma.

Azharuddin, who addressed the conference without a single representative from any of the BAI affiliated units exuded confidence saying, “just wait and see. A lot is going to happen this week.”

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Good Luck Azhar.. we belive you are a changed man and will do wonder for badminton in india

from:  kishore
Posted on: Jun 10, 2010 at 12:23 IST

wasn't this guy a match fixer at one time? now, he is an MP? we know how much 'love for the sport' you have after your disgraceful exit. india loves to reward folks like you. i echo the previous reader's comments, you are the best, ahem!

from:  srg
Posted on: Jun 10, 2010 at 03:52 IST

Politics is the best activity, but somehow the worst in our country, because of its usage by the politicians, who are using basically for their own benefits. Azhar is not a politician, but since he has entered this field I hope he will not be following our "successful" politicians. He has been side-tracked by BCCI for a life ban, when we see many players doing many silly things, and still prevail to carry their spot. What Azhar has done is not fully proved, but he has been side tracked -- again for the "politics" which is prevalent in any area with its dark but successful set up. We are just the observers but cannot do anything. I hope a day may come when reality comes to light and all are able to see..........

from:  Mohd Akbar
Posted on: Jun 9, 2010 at 20:09 IST

best of luck and u will win the elections sir !!!you are the best

from:  faiz ahmed
Posted on: Jun 6, 2010 at 19:50 IST

referring to the comment made by Mr.Verma,proves that
he is more a politician than a sports president,
this is how people react when it comes to their faith, they do not do anything for the sport let others do (who is with a vision ),
i personally feel we all should encourage to those who are willing to do something better for the sports,not just let the person who served this long term with little/nil achievement

from:  m.a.wajid
Posted on: Jun 6, 2010 at 17:19 IST

Mr.Verma did all politics in Badminton World Federation and dirty politics to retain his position and earned enormous money using his position. He has only created politics within players suppressing talents from all over the country for his position. Why cant he give way to Azhar to improve as he is an international icon and Verma is only international politician who is only craving for earning money at the cost of Indian sports for which the State "Yes Men" give way and that is the reason he cites States. This should be abolished and these oldies have spoilt India from becoming Sports Icon of the world in all respects with strong exceptions. He has to bow out for country's cause. We should bring up Saina, Chetan, ARvind and Verma will not allow these people to come up.

from:  Karthikeyan K
Posted on: Jun 5, 2010 at 21:40 IST
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