S Sreesanth is reportedly in financial strife. Ankeet Chavan is a newly-wed and both men have been banned for life by the BCCI after being found guilty of spot-fixing.
The only certainty as of now is a lengthy court appeal. The next paycheck is the greatest uncertainty.
Ajay Jadeja understands the plight of the duo. In 2000, he was implicated and banned for five years by the BCCI despite inconclusive evidence based on a CBI inquiry. Jadeja returned and captained Delhi and Rajasthan in Ranji Trophy after serving out four of the stipulated years.
“It’s like studying for 12 years in school, three years after that in college, and then suddenly being told that you can’t pursue that path anymore,” he told HT.
While serving his ban, which barred him from any official cricket-related activities, Jadeja starred in a Bollywood movie, Khel - No Ordinary Game. The movie didn’t do much at the box office.
For Sreesanth, who has been part of reality shows in the past, going down the Jadeja road could well be a path he could stride in the future.
Manoj Prabhakar, the man who blew the lid on the match-fixing scandal with damning allegations against his former teammates, was also implicated and banned for five years in 2000, by when he had already retired.
His advice is simple, “You’ve got to find ways to survive. Once my cricket was over, I focused on my business. I knew that’s what I had to do to make ends meet.”
Prabhakar’s business attempts cover opposite ends of the spectrum. His Delhi-based beauty products and cosmetics company, Naturence, which he formed towards the end of his playing career (in 1995), has been successful and was one of his primary sources of income.
He was also involved in a Rs. 50 crore chit-fund scam, engineered by a company called Apace, in which thousands of small investors from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh were been duped. He was arrested on the charges, before getting bail.
He would return to the Delhi Ranji team as coach before being sacked under controversial circumstances.
His closing words echo. “They can take away everything, but they can’t take away your knowledge and understanding of cricket. That will always be there.”