February 24, 2020
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'What Can I Say?'

Is all Azhar could come up with when he was shown a copy of the fax pages

'What Can I Say?'
"What can I say?" mumbles a visibly shaken Mohammed Azharuddin wiping off the little beads of sweat forming on his forehead. The carefully cultivated look of casual and cool evaporates fast as the former captain peers at the sheet of paper that’s just been handed over to him. Glancing through the document in apparent disbelief, he wonders aloud why something that happened five years ago is being raked up again.

"I don’t know, I can’t remember these things," is all Azhar’s willing to say when asked if the handwriting was his own. "I had so much tension on my head then, to be honest I can’t remember what happened," he says when asked about his alleged confessions to the CBI regarding his conversations with Abu Salem or his association with bookies such as M.K. Gupta. He sounds incredulous when told about his alleged confession about shopping in London’s Harrods for Rs 50 lakh courtesy one Ajay Gupta. "Fifty lakhs, what’s wrong with them? I have no money, I am running a gym," he says.

On the discrepancies between what Azhar allegedly told the CBI and the Madhavan inquiry panel about his association with people such as Salem and M.K. Gupta, he insists he stands by what he told the BCCI probe team. He also claims he has been given a clean chit by the CBI. "That’s why I am fighting a legal battle. The CBI has clearly said it had no evidence," he adds.

Azhar then excused himself for a few minutes and then returned saying he has spoken to his lawyers who have advised him that actually he cannot say anything at all on this matter as he’s already in the middle of a legal battle with the BCCI. "My case is in the court, this matter is sub-judice. I cannot say anything more about it." He insists the case is based on the CBI report therefore it’s impossible for him comment on these fresh allegations against him.

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