The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Lift ban on Azhar, Jadeja: Wadekar

Lucknow: Former India captain Ajit Wadekar Thursday said the ban imposed on cricketers Mohammed Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja should be lifted as the CBI has not filed any charges against the two in the match-fixing scandal.

“The BCCI has been harsh on these two cricketers. Both Azhar and Jadeja should be allowed to play in domestic cricket and if they perform well they should be considered for selection to the national team,” said Wadekar.

“The Board should decide soon as age is not on their (Azhar and Jadeja) side.”

Azhar and Jadeja were banned for their alleged involvement in match-fixing.

Wadekar, who was here in connection with the second one-dayer for the disabled between India and England, said India were a strong contender to win the World Cup in South Africa after Australia.

“Our batting line-up is quite formidable. But we don’t have bowlers of the calibre of Bedi, Prasanna and Chandrasekhar,” the former national coach said.

“Kumble is our best bet as he is the most experienced bowler.”

Wadekar also said too much one-day cricket was proving to be an obstacle to develop world-class spinners in the country.

Wadekar was against any further experimentation before the World Cup and said Dravid should be persisted with in his dual role.

“Rahul had conceded a few runs behind the wicket and also let off some catches. But we should persist with him as he adds to our batting strength.”

He was also impressed with wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel and said the youngster has the potential to make it big.

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