Former India fast-bowler S Sreesanth is all set to end his seven-year exile from the game as he will once again represent Kerala in the upcoming season. The state association has confirmed that Sreesanth would be considered for selection should he prove his fitness. Ahead of the comeback, Sreesanth believes he is still capable of playing the 2023 World Cup.
The 37-year old’s chances of a comeback received a boost with Kerala Cricket Association and the coach Tinu Yohannan saying they’d be happy to take him in their side, should he prove his fitness.
In August last year, the BCCI cut short the life ban imposed on him for the IPL spot-fixing scandal in 2013. BCCI ombudsman DK Jain ordered for S Sreesanth’s spot-fixing ban to be reduced to a seven-year suspension. The World Cup-winner is now eyeing a return to the Indian team and is confident of playing the next 50-over World Cup.
Recently, the fast bowler was also named in the provisional squad of Kerala for the upcoming domestic season. As a matter of fact, the head coach of Kerala, Tinu Yohanan has said that Sreesanth will be considered for selection if he proves his fitness. This may have come as a surprise to some people, but for the ageing fast bowler, it is a massive boost.
“I still believe I can play in the 2023 World Cup. I firmly believe that. One of the things he taught me was to be unapologetically me. I was always unrealistic with my goals but that’s with most athletes. If you don’t have unrealistic goals, you’re going to be mediocre,” Sreesanth said.
The two-time World Cup winner had to go through a lot before his ban got revoked. In 2018, the Kerala High Court had taken down the life ban which was given to the cricketer by the BCCI. They also removed all proceedings against him. However, that was restored by a particular division bench of the High Court.
The cricketer then moved to the Supreme Court. In March of 2019, the Supreme Court asked BCCI to reduce the punishment. Finally, his lifetime ban was reduced to seven years.
“I fully immersed myself in the routine of working out to avoid depressive phases. In fact, I tried my hand at MMA too in between because my anger and stress needed some outlet. I couldn’t hit anybody so I did the closest thing: hit a punching bag or a mat.”
Sreesanth has so far played 27 Tests, 53 ODIs and 10 T20Is for India. He last featured in an international match in August 2011. He was part of MS Dhoni’s brigade at the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 Cricket World Cup.