Mohammed Azharuddin was banned from cricket with a life-long ban 12 years ago. The Andhra Pradesh High Court has now ruled that the life-long ban has been overturned. Although Azhar will no longer be going back to the cricketing world, the overturning of his ban has given him some relief.
It does still remain to be seen if the cricket board will contest the court’s decision, but this does not seem likely. The reason for the ban that was imposed 12 years ago was because Azhar, the Indian cricket player, and Hansie Cronje, the South African skipper, were accused of being involved in cricket betting rates market during the 1990s.
While there were others that were suspected of their connection to illegal match fixing bets syndicates from Asia, the three players that suffered the heaviest penalties were Azhar, Cronje, and also Salim Malik from Pakistan.
The courts have agreed that there is no point in pursuing the issue further, since there is no actual evidence that Azhar did give in to pressure at the time that he was an active cricket player. Although the years cannot be returned to Azhar, and he has now missed the opportunities to play in a great number of Tests, it was important to him, for his own credibility, and for the sport’s credibility that he fight the long legal battle that he did in order to get down to the bottom of it.
Azharuddin has not been waiting to get back into professional cricket, and has moved on in his life. He is now a Congress MP. There is, however, a lesson for other sportsmen to be learned from this case. It is imperative that professional sports players set very high standards for themselves, whether they play cricket or any other sport. There are scandals that do arise in sports, and players need to make sure that not only should they be honest and clean, but should appear so to others at all times. They need to ensure that their behavior is beyond reproach, and that they always play a fair game.