After a seven-year ban the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) has decided to include controversial speedster S Sreesanth (37) in the state Ranji cricket team in September after his ban period ends. His inclusion though will depend on the veteran paceman proving his fitness. In May 2013 Delhi police had arrested Sreesanth and two of his Rajasthan Royals team mates, Ajit Chandilia and Ankit Chavan, on charges of spot- fixing. The Board of Control for Cricket India (BCCI) had imposed a life ban on him. Later he fought a long battle. In 2015 a special court in Delhi had acquitted him of all charges.
In 2018 the Kerala High Court had also revoked the BCCI decision to impose a life ban on him. But in 2019 the Supreme Court upheld his guilt but asked the BCCI to reduce his quantum of punishment. Later the BCCI had reduced his life ban to seven years which will end in September 2020.
“I am really indebted to the KCA for giving me a chance. I will prove my fitness and storm back to the game. It is time for all controversies to take rest,” he said in Kochi. Recently KCA had appointed former fast bowler Tinu Yohanan as the team coach. KCA secretary Sreeith Nair said his comeback will be an asset to the state team.
Kochi-based Sreesanth, notorious for his on- field pranks, took 87 wickets in 27 tests and 75 wickets in one-day internationals. He was also a member of the World Cup cricket winning team in 2011. Spinner Harbhajan Singh had once slapped him after one of the matches of the Indian Premier League. The swing bowler also had a small innings in politics in last assembly election. He was the BJP candidate from Thiruvananthapuram Central constituency and lost to Congress candidate V S Shivakumar.