Former Indian speedster S. Sreesanth returned to a cricket field for the first time in four years as he captained the Playback Singers XI against the Producers XI in an exhibition match. Last week, the Kerala High Court lifted the life ban on the 34-year-old that was imposed by the BCCI.
August 15th was the Independence Day indeed for Sreesanth as he returned to a cricket field for the first time in four years. The exhibition match was played at the ground in Kochi where he started his career and as expected he was cheered by a sizeable crowd. Moreover, members of both the teams even teams presented roses to Sreesanth when he stepped on to the field.
Having been given a huge relief by the Kerala High Court last week who lifted the life ban imposed on the speedster by the BCCI, the mercurial pacer captained the Playback Singers XI who took on the Producers XI on Tuesday. However, the BCCI has decided to appeal against the single bench verdict.
Earlier, Sreesanth had approached the court last year after the BCCI failed to revoke the life ban though he was exonerated by a Delhi court on the charge of involvement in a spot-fixing scandal, which rocked the 2013 Indian Premier League. Following the ban by the BCCI, he was not allowed to enter a cricket field at any level of the game besides even being prevented him from taking part in the practice sessions.
Subsequently, the 34-year-old had to spend time in Delhi’s Tihar jail in May 2013 in connection with the case as he was arrested by Delhi Police in Mumbai on May 17 that year along with former Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan.
And the BCCI’s disciplinary committee headed by present Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley slapped him and Chavan for their involvement in the case. However, having finally returned to the game on Tuesday, the Kerala pacer hoped for better things to come in the future as TOI quoted him saying, "I am really happy that I am back and I am beginning my return from the same ground where it all began. Now from here, I want to reach Thiruvananthapuram and from there upwards and back to the Indian team.”
Sreesanth is only the second player from Kerala to play for the Indian team after Tinu Yohanan and before the ban, he played 27 Tests taking 87 wickets, and also managed 75 scalps from 53 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and seven wickets from 10 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).