Sreesanth and Aakash Chopra were two opposites on the cricket field when they played for the India national cricket team. While the former, a fast bowler, was aggressive and never shied away from expressing himself; the latter, an opener, was known to soak up the pressure calmly.
Both veterans are out of international cricket now but it seems they have not lost their traits. Sreesanth, accused of spot-fixing in IPL 2013 but was later cleared by a Delhi court, waged a nasty Twitter war on Chopra, who said the fast bowler should not be given chance to return to cricket.
It all started when a fan asked Chopra on Twitter whether Sreesanth should again be considered for the Indian team. The former Test opener replied in the negative.
“I’m a bit of a hardliner when it comes to match-spot fixing...for expunging records and setting precedents. But that’s my opinion,” Chopra added.
I'm a bit of a hardliner when it comes to match-spot fixing...for expunging records and setting precedents. But that's my opinion. 🙏 https://t.co/X8OXh4KNSr— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 31, 2017
This statement from Chopra, angered Sreesanth who retorted: ‘How can u be so 2 faced?? Bro?? Ashamed to even call u that ..really sad to know (what have u replied?? Really..I will play.”
Despite pacifying the situation, Chopra stood by his opinion. “Not two-faced. That’s my opinion and I stand by it. Never told anyone anything else. I would have the same opinion for my own brother,” he wrote.
Not two-faced. That's my opinion and I stand by it. Never told anyone anything else. I would have the same opinion for my own brother. https://t.co/gGSLqXbZui— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 3, 2017
But Sreesanth is not the one to take things lying down. “I hope ur comments about desh drohi.....etc,also includes the other 13 people who was charged Nd the unopened envelope,” he answered back.
@cricketaakash I hope ur comments about desh drohi.....etc,also includes the other 13 people who was charged Nd the unopened envelope..— Sreesanth (@sreesanth36) February 3, 2017
Chopra reiterated that once a person is charged of fixing, he should not be allowed back to play cricket.
I didn't use the word 'desh drohi' but yes, my opinion on this issue isn't subjective. One rule for everyone. https://t.co/kooirNK4UE— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) February 3, 2017
To this, Sreesanth taunted Chopra on his current profession – that of a commentator. “Yes,looking forward to hear ur commentary when I play..which will be very soon,” he said.
@cricketaakash yes,looking forward to hear ur commentary when I play..which will be very soon— Sreesanth (@sreesanth36) February 3, 2017
While Chopra played 10 Tests for India, Sreesanth has played 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is for the national team. He was part of India’s World T20 and World Cup winning teams under MS Dhoni.
But the fast bowler’s career was halted when he was arrested during the 2013 IPL along with Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan for allegedly conspiring with bookmakers. The BCCI’s disciplinary committee found him guilty of spot-fixing and banned him for life even though in 2015, a Delhi court exonerated the three in the case.
Sreesanth, who contested the Kerala Assembly elections in 2016 on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket, signed a contract with Glenrothes for playing in the Scottish League. But his plans were dashed as BCCI didn’t give him an NOC to play in the league.