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After playing the COMMUNAL card Azharuddin goes REGIONAL

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    After playing the COMMUNAL card Azharuddin goes REGIONAL

    Role of Mumbai players not probed, says Azhar
    Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin has said investigative agencies have not probed the role of powerful Mumbai-based cricketers in the match-fixing scandal in which he has been indicted.

    "Nobody talks of the Rs 7 million ($152,000) found in Sunil Gavaskar's Gymkhana locker. What about Ravi Shastri's Ali Bagh farmhouse and other costly properties?" Azharuddin said in an interview with "Outlook" magazine, excerpts of which were made available to the media on Friday. The interview is scheduled to appear in the January 22 issue of the magazine.

    The names of the two Mumbai-based former Test captains haven't figured in the match-fixing scandal. Sachin Tendulkar, also based in Mumbai, has escaped allegations of corruption.

    Azharuddin is one of the principal accused in the match-fixing that alleges that players underperformed to benefit betting syndicates in return for money. He has been found guilty by federal investigators and in an independent probe ordered by the Board for Control of Cricket in India, which banned him for life after listening to the testimonies of bookies and their phone conversations with accused players.

    Azharuddin has denied any wrongdoing. In the past, Azharuddin has said he was being targeted because he belonged to the minority community.

    In his interview to "Outlook", Azharuddin said there was "a malicious campaign" against him when he was made captain of the Indian cricket team in the mid-1990s.

    "I think people are jealous of me. I have had a successful career and have played for long," Azharuddin said in the interview, which was taken in his home in the southeastern city of Hyderabad.

    He said he hoped he would be able to clear his name in a lawsuit he proposes to file against the BCCI challenging the life ban.

    "Before stepping out into the public, I want to clear my name as I have been wronged," he said.

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