The BCCI has reversed its earlier stand of not inviting former Indian cricket team skipper earlier Mohammad Azharuddin for the Indian cricket team’s historic 500th Test match. It has now invited the stylish Hyderabadi to be part of the celebrations and the former captain has accepted it. The upcoming match against New Zealand at Kanpur will mark India’s 500th game in the traditional format.
It may be recalled Azharuddin was imposed a life ban for his alleged involvement in match-fixing when the scandal first broke out in 2000. While Azhar had been acquitted by the court, the BCCI has so far avoided inviting him for official events. Asked about Azhar being extended invitation, IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said that he saw nothing wrong in it. “He is also a former India captain,” Shukla said.
Meanwhile, former captains Sachin Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar and Krishnamachari Srikkanth have accepted the invitation of BCCI and will be present during the Test at the Green Park. Chief coach Anil Kumble will also be present. former India skipper Rahul Dravid is also expected to comeback from his India A tour assignment.
“Sachin, Vengsarkar, Srikkanth and Azhar have confirmed that they would come for felicitation. Ajit Wadekar has informed board that he is not keeping well and won’t be able to attend,” UPCA secretary Shukla said.
A specially minted silver coin with 500th Test embossed on it is being prepared for the toss.
“The BCCI along with UPCA will also be hosting a dinner for the Indian captains, where both India and New Zealand teams will be present,” Shukla said.
The BCCI and the UPCA are also preparing T-shirts with ‘500th Test’ written on it for the under-privileged children, who will be present in the stadium on all Test match days. “Every day, there will be 2000 under-privileged school children, who would be watching their favourite stars in action. We have also made arrangements for physically challenged persons and kids from the orphanage, who would be attending the Test match,” said Shukla.