iconimg Tuesday, July 28, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 13, 2013
Cracking the whip on corrupt players, the BCCI slapped life bans on former India pacer S Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan, while handing out a five-year and one-year ban on Amit Singh and Siddarth Trivedi respectively for their involvement in match fixing. Just hours after a report on alleged fixing during the last Indian Premier League was leaked to the media, Sreesanth and Chavan disposed before the three-member BCCI disciplinary committee comprising N Srinivasan, Arun Jaitley and Niranjan Shah in New Delhi.

Sreesanth and Chavan were invited to present their side of the story to BCCI's panel.

Ravi Sawani, the anti-corruption unit chief, had earlier investigated allegations that the three Rajasthan Royals players -Ajit Chandila and Chavan besides Sreesanth - conceded a pre-determined number of runs per over in exchange for money during the IPL this year. All the three players have served jail time after being arrested by the Delhi Police during the IPL.

The hearing began at 11 AM, but Sreesanth and Chavan were seen stepping out almost four hours later, while BCCI's office bearers continued to hold discussions.

"They haven't said anything about the ban. I have full faith in the judiciary as well as the BCCI and I will come clean in this whole issue," Sreesanth said, minutes after appearing for the hearing.

"All the disciplinary committee members were very cooperative and it went off well. I gave them my side of the story. All I have dreamt from childhood is to play for India and I will never cheat the game. There was no argument with the committee, they were very cooperative," he added.

An hour later though, Sreesanth's fate was sealed as BCCI issued a press release confirming a life ban for the former India pacer.

"S. Sreesanth and Ankeet Chavan are banned for life from playing any representative cricket, or in any way being associated with the activities of the BCCI or its affiliates," the statement said.

Young spinner Harmeet Singh was, however, let off for lack of strong evidence against him.

Earlier, it was expected for the verdict to be announced during BCCI's annual general meeting later this month. Sreesanth, accompanied by friend Manoj, was set to take an evening fight back home. Sawani handed over his report to the Board during its Working Committee meeting in Kolkata last month.