A lot has changed in the life of Sreesanth post the Kerala High Court verdict. It was a near drowning moment for Sreesanth’s cricketing career after the lifetime ban imposed on him by the BCCI for the spot fixing case in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The verdict of the Kerala High Court couldn’t have come at a better time as it was held out to Sreesanth as an oxygen mask infusing hope and helping him resuscitate his cricketing career once again.
What led to Sreesanth’s ban from Cricket?
In 2013, the Delhi Police were suspecting underhand dealings between the cricket players and the bookies for spot fixing of matches against lump sum amounts of money. They have been following a trail of events which finally lead to the arrest of three players from the Rajasthan Royals franchise. The police swooped in after a match played in Mumbai between the Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians and arrested three players for allegedly being involved in spot fixing of matches. They were S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan.
According to the police, it was alleged that S Sreesanth had taken Rupees 40 lacs approximately 60,000 USD to give away 13 runs in a bowling spell. He wore a towel tucked into his trousers which apparently was a hint for the bookies he would bowl in a certain manner and concede a given number of runs.
2017 – Current Developments and Challenges Ahead
The Kerala High Court has given a verdict in favour of cricketer S Sreesanth thus lifting the life ban placed on him from playing professional cricket. For any sports person associated with a game at the international level and being banned thereon, any news or hope of a comeback breathes a new life into the person and reincarnates him. However, there are several challenges that one faces in making a comeback to first class cricket.
Age – Age plays a very crucial role in any sportsman’s career. A player struggles to stay at peak fitness levels with age. Team management prefers younger players over older ones as the former have more fire in their bellies and are hungrier to perform so they can prove their potential and cement their place on the team.
Sreesanth is now 34-years-old. However, Ashish Nehra made an international comeback as a fast bowler at the age of 37. Nehra had injured his finger in a game with Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup after which he was never again selected for a game. However, he had kept his focus intact and came back into the game years later.
Fitness – As long as any professional sportsman can keep himself fit and can perform well, age should not pose a hindrance between him and the sport. In one of Sreesanth’s recent interviews, he said he has been practicing hard and is willing to start off by playing in club cricket matches. He has also been training well and is taking coaching advice from none other than Dav Whatmore who is at present associated with the Kerala cricket board.
NOC from BCCI – The no objection certificate or NOC is one of the most crucial elements hanging on Sreesanth’s neck right now. It will be interesting to see whether the richest cricket board in the world, the BCCI, would appeal against the High Court’s decision. Rumours are flying that the BCCI would appeal to the Kerala High Court division bench against their verdict of handing Sreesanth a clean chit. If this happens that would further delay Sreesanth’s return to the field.
It is any cricketer’s dream to leave a difficult phase behind him, don the team’s jersey and play for his country again. The Kerala High Court’s decision flashed upon Sreesanth as a gleam of hope, more so as Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals are expected to be back in action in the forthcoming season of the Indian Premier League. If these two teams can make it to the limelight post being suspended for similar controversies, then we can be hopeful to see Sreesanth in a blue jersey running in with the red ball in his hand from the pavilion end.
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