Kolkata: Is it time for the former Indian pacer to call it a day? We are talking about S Sreesanth whose wish to make a comeback, has been jolted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). According to a report by IANS, the Kerala speedster has not been given a No Objection Certificate by the apex body of cricket in the country to participate in the Scotland Cricket League. This comes at a time when the Supreme Court is trying to clean the functioning of the BCCI whose reputation has been damaged by a number of allegations including spot-fixing in the Indian Premier League (IPL), which Sreesanth was allegedly part of. Sreesanth was given a life ban by the BCCI for his involvement in the scam.
For, Sreesanth (33) who has made more news off the field than on the field, it could be the end of his journey as a cricketer. The Kerala guy who also tried his luck in politics contesting the 2016 Assembly Elections on a BJP ticket, would be staring at an uncertain future as a cricketer. It’s sad for a talented cricketer who was once hailed as a formidable force with the ball. His heroics with the red cherry against the West Indies in Kingston and South Africa in Johannesburg in 2006, gave India two memorable overseas Test triumphs.
But perhaps, success made him complacent and he was left out of India’s scheme of things quite frequently before the infamous match-fixing scandal in 2013 which put the final nail in the coffin. Though he was acquitted by the Delhi High Court, a source from the BCCI informed IANS, “The BCCI has an internal mechanism and it was their disciplinary committee which slapped a life ban on Sreesanth after conducting its own probe in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match fixing case in which he was arrested in 2013. The BCCI is the final word when it comes to lifting of bans.” Sreesanth last played for India way back in 2011 against England at The Oval.
This is the second occasion in recent times where a former Indian cricketer has been refused permission to return to the mainstream of the game, be it as a cricketer or an administrator. Recently, former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin’s nomination to contest for the Hyderabad Cricket Association’s president’s post was rejected by the returning officer since the BCCI had not officially lifted the life ban on him.
With a new establishment set to take over in the BCCI under the watchful eyes of the Supreme Court, the days of tainted cricketers and even officials are coming to an end. Now that is indeed music to all of us who swear by the game that is a religion in India. All’s well that ends well.