New Delhi: “If Leander Paes can win Grand Slams at 42, I can at least play some cricket at 36,” India cricketer S Sreesanth said after the Supreme Court set aside the life ban imposed on him by the BCCI for his alleged involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal.
Sreesanth, along with Mumbai spinner Ankit Chavan and Haryana’s Ajit Chandila, were suspended for life by a BCCI disciplinary committee in 2013, a decision that the player had challenged in court.
“I don’t know what life has in store for me after all these years. It’s six years and I haven’t played cricket, which was my life,” said a relieved Shreesanth.
“I hope that the BCCI respects the verdict of the country’s highest court and allows me to at least get back to the cricket field. I hope that at least now I can walk to a school cricket ground and train there without being told that I am not allowed. I just want to play whatever cricket I can,” added Sreesanth, who has been a part of the 2007 World T20 and 2011 ODI World Cup winning squads.
But age is not something that he feels will be a factor in trying to make a comeback to competitive cricket.
“Your age is as much as you feel. I would again like to play club cricket in Scotland. I wanted to play last year but didn’t get permission. I can’t play club cricket in England at the moment as I have not played first-class cricket for six years now,” he added.
Sreesanth said in his ‘dark days’, it was the unshakeable faith of his parents, wife Bhuvaneshwari, in-laws and his loyal fans that kept him going.
“I want to thank my in-laws, the Shekhawats. They trusted me and let their daughter marry me when the whole world didn’t trust me. My parents have gone through a lot during all these years. Trust me it wasn’t that easy all these years,” said Sreesanth, who is still in touch with some of his Indian teammates.
“Yes, I do get calls or whatsapp messages from some of them. Bhajju paa (Harbhajan Singh) has spoken to me, Viru bhai (VIrender Sehwag), Suresh (Raina) have kept in touch. I keep speaking to Robin (Uthappa) who is a dear friend,” he said.