Is BCCI ready to contest Kerala High Court order on S. Sreesanth? asks Manjrekar | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Is BCCI ready to contest Kerala High Court order on S. Sreesanth? asks Manjrekar

S. Sreesanth was banned by the BCCI in the wake of the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal. The Kerala High Court on Monday lifted the ban on the former Indian cricket team seamer

cricket Updated: Aug 08, 2017 11:29 IST
Devarchit Varma
S. Sreesanth’s return to cricket will depend on how the Board of Control for Cricket in India reacts to the Kerala High Court order lifting the life ban on the cricketer for spot-fixing during IPL 2013
S. Sreesanth’s return to cricket will depend on how the Board of Control for Cricket in India reacts to the Kerala High Court order lifting the life ban on the cricketer for spot-fixing during IPL 2013(Twitter)

Former cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar on Tuesday questioned the preparedness of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in letting in those cricketers whose bans have been lifted by courts.

Manjrekar posted a tweet on Tuesday morning in the wake of Kerala pacer Shanthakumaran Sreesanth getting his ban lifted from the Kerala High Court, on Monday. The apex court in the southern state had on Monday revoked BCCI’s life ban on Sreesanth, which was imposed on the right-arm pacer in wake of the IPL 2013 spot-fixing and betting scandal.

In July 2015, Sreesanth was exonerated by a Delhi sessions court, but the Indian cricket board had remained staunch in its decision.

S. Sreesanth had then approached the Kerala High Court after BCCI had turned down his plea, saying that the Delhi sessions court had given him a clean chit and the cricket governing body has continued to harass him.

Sreesanth, who has so far played 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is — including the World Cup final in 2011 as well as the World T20 2007 final — had claimed that his career was getting ruined due to the ban.

Sanjay Manjrekar, who has been a prominent voice in the Indian cricket circles, also serving as a commentator in past several years in series home and abroad, has now questioned BCCI’s preparedness in case if it sticks to not allowing Sreesanth back to cricket.

“If BCCI had a strong case to ban cricketers for match fixing, surely they must have a strong case to challenge the lifting of bans,” Manjrekar wrote on Twitter.

Bumpy road

Meanwhile, the road back to cricket may not be smooth yet for Sreesanth, as the 34-year-old has not played top-flight cricket ever since he was arrested by the Delhi police in Mumbai on the night of May 16, 2013, following which a ban was imposed on him preventing the maverick cricketer from taking part in BCCI-organised cricket in any capacity.

On Monday, as the news broke of Kerala High Court asking the Indian cricket body to revoke the life ban, the BCCI acting president CK Khanna refuse to provide hints on what could be the next step from the governing body.

He said, “The judgement has come today. The BCCI’s legal team will study the judgement and give its observations. Obviously, their feedback will be taken and placed at an appropriate forum (general body).”

Even the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) has said it will not act in any haste in bringing Sreesanth back into the state team.

The 34-year-old S. Sreesanth has not played top-flight cricket ever since he was arrested by the Delhi police in Mumbai on the night of May 16, 2013 (HT Photo)

The KCA secretary Jayesh George said, “The judgement has come today. The BCCI’s legal team will study the judgement and give its observations. Obviously, their feedback will be taken and placed at an appropriate forum (general body).”

“Look, two years back, we had appealed to the BCCI requesting to lift Sreesanth’s ban after lower court in Delhi exonerated him of all spot-fixing charges. The BCCI then decided to stick to life ban. Now that Kerala High Court has given the verdict, the BCCI may think of appealing to Supreme Court. We don’t know what will be their stand,” George said.

“He is 34 years and has not played for last four years. Obviously, with his talent and experience, he is an asset for Kerala Ranji team. We now have pacers like Basil Thampi (current India A player), Sandip Warrier. If Sree is around, obviously they can gain from his experience,” George was quoted as saying by PTI.