“I’m completely free”: S Sreesanth’s ban on on-the-spot remedy lapses

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S Sreesanth’s ban for alleged mock fixation came to an end on Sunday, ending a seven-year sentence originally meant for life and aggressively contested by the flamboyant bowler. The 37-year-old has already made it clear that he plans to resume at least his domestic career at the end of the ban and his home state of Kerala has promised to consider him if he manages to prove his suitability.

“I am completely free of cost and everything and will now represent the sport I love most. I will do my very best for every ball I play, even (as long as) it is practice,” he tweeted on Friday, a few days before the end of his suspension.

“Just have a maximum of 5 to 7 years to give everything I have and I will give the very best to every team I play,” he added.

However, with the Indian domestic season currently being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains to be seen when exactly Sreesanth will be able to make a comeback if Kerala decides to give him a shot. The Indian domestic season kicks off in August, but the pandemic has messed up the schedule completely.

“… the BCCI is making every effort to ensure that domestic cricket resumes when conditions permit,” BCCI chairman Sourav Ganguly wrote in a recent letter to the presidents and secretaries of the affiliated associations.

Sreesanth’s life ban for alleged spot fixation in the 2013 edition of the IPL was reduced to seven years by BCCI Ombudsman DK Jain last year.

Jain had noted that the cricketer is well past his prime after serving six years. The BCCI banned Sreesanth in August 2013 along with his Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan.

But on March 15 last year, the Supreme Court overturned the order of the BCCI Disciplinary Commission and asked the Council to reconsider the amount of punishment.

“I will never cheat on cricket, even if I play a friendly game. I don’t play easy balls (bowl) or try to lose … so do it right with everyone …” Sreesanth posted recently.

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Sreesanth played 27 Tests and 53 ODIs for India, with 87 and 75 wickets respectively. He has also taken seven wickets in 10 T20 Internationals.

The temperamental pacemaker was also popular for his lavish partying after taking wickets, but his life and career went downhill after the spot-fixing scandal. However, he maintained his innocence during the damaging controversy.

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