Gambhir questions BCCI’s decision as Azharuddin rings bell at Eden Garden

New Delhi: Angry Gautam Gambhir on Monday slammed the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) for giving an opportunity to former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin to ring the bell at the start of the first T20I between India and West Indies in Kolkata on Sunday.

The left-handed opening batsman took to Twitter and wrote, “India may have won today at Eden but I am sorry @bcci, CoA & CAB lost. Looks like the No Tolerance Policy against Corrupt takes a leave on Sundays! I know he was allowed to contest HCA polls but then this is shocking. The bell is ringing, hope the powers that be are listening.”

The ringing of the five-minute bell, introduced at Lord’s, is a ritual that was started in 2007. An international cricketer or administrator or a well-known enthusiast of the sport is tasked to perform the act.

Former veteran cricketer Azharuddin was banned for life by the BCCI for his alleged involvement in the match-fixing scandal that rocked the cricket world in 2000. However, in 2012, the former captain’s ban was overturned by the Andhra High Court. From his debut hundred in 1984-85 at Kolkata to a match-saving hundred in 1993, Azhar and Eden Gardens have a connection. 

While the BCCI has never formally issued any statement on the Azharuddin issue for the past few years, he has been a regular feature in the board’s events. His financial dues, though, are yet to be cleared.

Earlier this year, Gambhir wasn’t happy after Manoj Prabhakar was shortlisted for Delhi coach’s job. It was learnt that Virender Sehwag, one of the members of the Delhi and Districts Cricket Association’s Cricket Advisory Committee, didn’t like some of the questions that Gambhir had posed for Prabhakar.
Gambhir has in the past expressed his views on wide-ranging topics from politics, terrorism to sports. A few days back, he slammed Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and his government for the horrifying air pollution in the capital.

(With inputs from Agencies)