It has often been disparagingly said that there is more politics than cricket in Hyderabad cricket. And with the stage set for the elections to the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), it seems quite true.
Former India captain who also served a term as Congress MP from Moradabad, Mohammed Azharuddin is in the fray to be President of the HCA. While he has the backing of prominent ex-India players like Shivlal Yadav and Arshad Ayub, who have served in the HCA before, what makes a difference is the effective backing of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS). And that’s because Azhar is ranged against the panel of G Vivek, a former TRS leader who fell out with the ruling party and is now with the BJP.
The primary objective is to ensure Vivek’s rout. The mission is both political and personal given how Vivek has been openly critical of chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
Part of that aim has already been achieved by his nomination being rejected for the President’s post. If his panel’s candidates do not win, it will end Vivek’s hold over the HCA. Vivek’s Visakha Industries had part-sponsored the construction of the Rajiv Gandhi cricket stadium in Hyderabad. Vivek’s brother, G Vinod who too rebelled against the TRS by contesting against it in December, has also served as HCA President in the past.
It helps that former Congress leader Khaleel ur Rahman, closely related to Azhar, is now in the TRS. Even though Azhar was made Working President of the Telangana Congress before the Assembly elections last year, he is hardly active in state politics. So politically speaking, it is the strange sight of the Congress trying to get the better of the BJP, with TRS support.
Like they say, anything is possible in cricket and politics.