Shanthakumaran Sreesanth ‘s name has been enlisted among the probables for the Kerala domestic Cricket team for this year’s Ranji Trophy, which means we might get to see the maverick fast bowler from Kothamangalam in action after 7 long years.
Sreesanth’s last competitive cricket was way back in the IPL in 2013, a year in which he was arrested on charges of spot-fixing along with two other Rajasthan Royals Cricketers, Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila. Since then, Sreesanth has been engaged in a long drawn legal battle while maintaining his innocence the whole time. Subsequently, the Board of Control for Cricket in India decided to impose a life ban on him. However, a Delhi special court acquitted him of all charges in 2015 but the BCCI ban on the fast bowler continued to exist.
Sreesanth went to court to appeal against the life ban on him and in 2018 the Kerala High Court lifted the life ban on him and asked the BCCI to reduced the quantum of punishment, prompting the BCCI to reduce the ban to seven years with roll back effect. It meant that ban on Sreesanth will end on September 2020, making him eligible to play all levels of cricket from that month.
About his inclusion among the probables by the Kerala Cricket Association, Sreesanth said, “I am really excited at this opportunity. I am really indebted to the KCA for giving me this chance to appear in the Ranji Trophy. I will prove my fitness and return to the game. It is time for all the controversies to take a backseat and hopefully everything will come good.”
Kerala has appointed former India pacer Tinu Yohannan as coach this year after parting ways with Dav Whatmore, who took over as the cricket director of Baroda. KCA has always maintained that it will give Sreesanth an opportunity once the ban period ends and secretary Sreejith Nair had said his experience will come handy for the Kerala team.