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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
India 'could lift Azharuddin ban'
Mohammad Azharuddin
Azharuddin played 99 Tests and 334 ODIs between 1984-2000
Indian board officials have hinted that the life ban imposed on former captain Mohammad Azharuddin may be overturned.

Azharuddin was one of only five players banned for life after a series of investigations into match-fixing conducted between 2000 and 2001.

BCCI spokesman Ratnakar Shetty said there was a feeling amongst the current regime that former board members had been too harsh in their decision.

"The general opinion is that Azhar has undergone enough punishment," he said.

The other players given life bans were Ajay Sharma (India), Salim Malik and Ata-ur-Rehman (Pakistan) and the late Hansie Cronje (South Africa).

South African Herschelle Gibbs was suspended for six months by his national board in 2000 after admitting he agreed to under-perform in a one-day international in exchange for money.

And Australians Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were fined in 1994 after accepting money from a bookmaker for supplying pitch information during a tour to Sri Lanka, a matter which only came to light four years later.

However, International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed said care needed to be taken when comparing cases.

"The point of distinction as I understand it is it was alleged and proved Azhar was actively involved in match-fixing," he added.

Azharuddin, whose Test career came to an end one short of 100 appearances, has always maintained his innocence of wrongdoing.

In a magazine interview in 2001, he said: "Match-fixing simply cannot be a one-man show.

"This is a game which involves 11 players. If a team fails, it is spectacularly unfair to single out just one person."

A softening of the BCCI's attitude towards him was highlighted last week when he was included in a list of former national team captains to be honoured at a special ceremony in November.

Indian cricketer receives threats
31 Aug 05 |  South Asia
Azharuddin hit with life ban
05 Dec 00 |  Corruption in Cricket


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