Azharuddin urges BCCI to settle S Sreesanth’s case after court asks to lift life ban

Mohammad Azharuddin, former Indian cricket team skipper, feels S Sreesanth was a good fast bowler but was not handled properly

cricket Updated: Aug 09, 2017 22:21 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
S Sreesanth,Sreesanth ban,Mohammad Azharuddin
The BCCI imposed a life ban on S Sreesanth after he and two Rajasthan Royals (Indian Premier League - IPL) teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan were charged for spot fixing by Delhi Police.(Santosh Harhare/HT Photo)

Former India skipper, Mohammad Azharuddin, who was banned for life for match-fixing in 2000, urged the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday to take a positive stand in resolving the issue of pace bowler S Sreesanth.

Former India bowler Sreesanth, who played 27 Tests and 53 ODIs and 10 T20 Internationals, was slapped a life ban after being charged with spot-fixing while playing for Rajasthan Royals in the 2013 Indian Premier League.

The BCCI slapped a life ban on Sreesanth, 34, after he and two RR teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankit Chavan were charged by the Delhi police. However, a Delhi court quashed the charges in 2015, saying there was insufficient evidence under the stringent provisions meant to tackle organised crime that was used by the Delhi police.

The Kerala high court directed the BCCI to lift the ban, taking into account the Delhi court’s decision.

Azharrudin told reporters on Wednesday: “Sreesanth was one of the finest fast bowlers, but I think he was not handled properly. Had he been, he would have turned out to be a good fast bowler. If you see, very few bowlers could manage to land the ball on the seam as he did, so he was very good.”

Sreesanth has said he would push for a place in the Kerala Ranji Trophy squad with an aim to make an India comeback. However, the temperamental bowler has not played any top-level cricket since his 2013 arrest for spot-fixing. The BCCI has said it has to study the court verdict. The Kerala Cricket Association has also said it would tread cautiously.

In January, BCCI denied permission to the bowler, who played in the final of the 2007 World Twenty20 and 2011 World Cup (India won both), to play in the Scottish league. The Kerala HC said the ban on Sreesanth went against natural justice.

Azharuddin would understand Sreesanth’s plight. The former India skipper was stranded on 99 Tests after match-fixing allegations were brought against him and a life ban imposed by the BCCI’s disciplinary committee. Azharuddin too petitioned the court and got the life ban lifted, but awaits the release of his dues by the BCCI.

He is confident the BCCI will settle his dues. “The letter I sent to the Board has been included in the agenda of the CoA (Committee Of Administrators) meeting (on Wednesday), which means they are serious about it. I am hoping this case is resolved at the earliest and we (can) move ahead.”

First Published: Aug 09, 2017 22:21 IST