Sreesanth to India TV on IPL spot-fixing saga: 'I just want my livelihood back'Speaking to India TV a month after the Kerala High Court had lifted the life ban imposed by the BCCI on the pacer, Sreesanth said he is not begging in front of the board and only wants his livelihood back.
From being a part of two World Cup winning teams to spending time in Delhi's Tihar jail, fast bowler S Sreesanth has seen it all. Sreesanth, who is the first cricketer from Kerala to play for the national team, has always been controversy's favourite child. If the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 ODI World Cup triumphs skyrocketed Sreesanth to the top, then his alleged involvement in the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal reduced him to the dungeons.
However, the darkness of the dungeons has not been able to take the fighter out of the 34-year-old cricketer. Sreesanth, who was always known his tough resolve on the cricketing field, is determined to continue his legal battle with the all-powerful Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in order to make a comeback to the cricket field - his livelihood.
Speaking to India TV a month after the Kerala High Court had lifted the life ban imposed by the BCCI on the pacer, Sreesanth said he is not begging in front of the board and only wants his livelihood back.
"I'm not begging, I'm only asking for my livelihood back," Sreesanth told India TV.
Sreesanth knocked the doors of the court last year after the BCCI did not revoke the life ban on the fast bowler even after a trial court in Delhi had dropped charges filed by the Delhi Police against him on his alleged role in the spot-fixing scandal.
Sreesanth had to spend time in the Tihar jail in Delhi in May 2013 in the case. He was arrested by the Delhi Police in Mumbai on May 17 that year along with former Rajasthan Royals teammates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan.
The BCCI's Disciplinary Committee headed by present Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had slapped a life-time ban on Sreesanth and Chavan on September 13, 2013.
In 2015, a Delhi court exonerated Sreesanth and two other players in the case registered by the Delhi Police which invoked the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
However, in February this year, the BCCI refused to issue a no-objection certificate to Sreesanth to play league cricket in Scotland, forcing him to file a writ petition in the Kerala HC challenging the ban.
In August, Kerala HC's Justice A Muhamed Mustaque accepted Sreesanth's appeal and quashed the ban on grounds that the BCCI had no "incriminating evidence" against the player. The cricket board, however, had refused to alter its disciplinary decision even after the verdict. In fact, the BCCI on Monday approached the Kerala HC against the order, saying that the decision to ban Sreesanth was based on the evidence against him.
"It was a good order and the best part which felt good was in the end when the Judge stated that they stole my livelihood and it was indeed a wrong doing," Sreesanth said.
Sreesanth also revealed the details of his arrest.
"I was arrested around 3 AM, that time I was in the IPL after-match party along with many cricketers from Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals. I was leaving from the club and was heading towards my friend's place where I felt like I got kidnapped. I thought it was a joke but from there I was taken to a safe house where I could not even get any bail. I was kept there till around 7 or 7.30. I was then taken to the magistrate's house, it was a Saturday and Sunday where I couldn't even apply for bail. It seemed planned," he said.
On account of the life ban, Sreesanth cannot play even league cricket nor get access to practice facilities at any of the cricket grounds where the BCCI or the State Cricket Associations have a stake. But Sreesanth is prepared to see the end of it.
"People know what type of cricket I play and what type of a cricketer I am," he said.