BCCI ombudsman DK Jain has ordered for S Sreesanth’s spot-fixing ban to be reduced to a seven-year suspension, meaning the fast bowler will be eligible to play from September 2020.
“Sreesanth is already facing a ban, for almost a period of six years now, which bars him from playing cricket or participating in any event, with which the BCCI is, directly or indirectly, associated. Even otherwise, for Mr. Sreesanth, who is now in his late thirties, his prime years as a cricketer, particularly as a fast bowler may already be over. Bearing in mind, all these factors, I am of the view that banning Sreesanth from participating in any kind of commercial cricket or from associating with any activities of the BCCI or its affiliates, for a period of seven years with effect from September 13, 2013, i.e., the date from which the period of ban imposed by the Disciplinary Committee had commenced, will meet the ends of justice,” the Ombudsman said in his statement.
Jain’s order comes months after the Supreme Court had set aside Sreesanth’s life ban in March this year, asking the BCCI to consider a new punishment for the former Indian pacer, who already has served six years away from competitive cricket.
The Supreme Court’s directive to BCCI’s disciplinary committee was what cleared the decks for Sreesanth’s return. The last he played for India was in 2011, with his last appearance in the IPL coming in 2013.
After his ban was reduced to seven years, an elated Sreesanth has said he will aim to pick 100 Test wickets if he gets a chance to represent the national side again.
“I am extremely delighted with what I have heard now. Thanks to each one of my well-wishers who prayed for me and the prayers have been answered. I am 36 now, and next year I will be 37. I have 87 Test wickets, and my aim is I want to finish my career with 100 Test wickets. I am confident that I can return to the Indian Test team and always wanted to play under Virat Kohli,” Sreesanth told the media on Tuesday.
Sreesanth is just the second cricketer from Kerala to represent the country. In his brief career, he has played 27 Tests, scalping 87 wickets. The Keralite has also picked 75 wickets in 53 ODIs and seven wickets in 10 T20Is.