The Justice Mudgal panel's final report on the IPL spot-fixing scandal has named top BCCI officials.
The Supreme Court has also made scathing observations days after the BCCI gave a clean chit to its sidelined president, N Srinivasan, and IPL COO, Sundar Raman. The BCCI's two-man panel had not found anything against Srinivasan's son-in-law and CSK official, Gurunath Meiyappan.
But the BCCI banned three Rajasthan Royals players for spot-fixing on the basis of a police chargesheet that is yet to stand scrutiny in court. The main figure in this saga, S Sreesanth, banned for life, feels cheated.
Charged by the police for bowling no balls in exchange for money in an IPL match last year, the former India pacer says in an interview to HT that he is suffering because he doesn't have a 'godfather' and that the BCCI took just five minutes to decide his fate.
Do you think BCCI has done injustice to you?
It's more than injustice, but I don't want to talk about this because my case is sub judice. I don't want to make more enemies. But one thing is clear, I've not been pronounced guilty by the court. I am not bothered about others getting a clean chit. I think of myself and my cricket. There is no proof against me, but if there is, it should become clear (in the court).
Were you not given a chance to present your case properly while deposing before BCCI's Anti-Corruption officials?
They hardly even heard me and decided my fate in five minutes. I was told BCCI was looking into the matter and that I would be informed about the outcome of the inquiry. I had hardly come down and got into my car when I started getting calls from you (media) guys that I have been banned for life. I was shocked. More than anything else, I am not in a position to go back to these people. I don't have a godfather. Whatever I have earned in life is by grace of god. I have not done anything against the game. Whatever I was accused of is based on circumstantial evidence. There is nothing direct against me, nothing has been proved so far.
The Supreme Court suggests there should be overall change in BCCI. If this happens, do you see any hope?
Of course. I am not worrying about playing for India. I just want to be allowed to play for Kerala, or first class or county cricket. I love to play cricket in an honest way. Sooner or later everything will come out. I am praying for this. I just want my cricket back. I am 31-32 now. I just got four or five years of cricket left in me.
How tough were the last two years?
I have gone through something that even my enemy should not. Everything happening with me was insulting, but the biggest humiliation was taking away my cricket. My Kochi ground is just 500 metres from my home but I can't even enter it. This is everyday humiliation.
Are you following the Supreme Court hearing?
Yes. I believe something great will come out. As far as my case is concerned, one thing is clear... I am not even an accused in court, I am just a co-accused. There is nothing against me in the supplementary charge-sheet. My lawyers will argue on January 13. I have a feeling I will come clean.
So, nothing good has happened to you in life since the ban?
It's not like that. I am going to be a father soon.