S Sreesanth dreams of playing in the 2019 cricket World Cup
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The Kerala High Court ordered the BCCI to lift the life ban on Shanthakumaran Sreesanth yesterday (August 7). The 34-year-old, who could not officially step on the cricket field for the last four years, can now dream of playing for the country again.
"My dream is to play 2019 World Cup for India. But I know it is next to impossible and it would be a miracle if I play in that World Cup. But I have always believed that miracles can happen," he said in an inclusive interview with the Times of India.
The speedster is optimistic about his age and believes that he has the fitness to represent the country a few years down the line.
"I am only 34. The likes of Misbah (ul-Haq), Younis Khan, Sachin (Tendulkar) paaji played or are playing till when they are close to 40. They are the motivation for me. I want to make sure that I keep myself fit and start performing," he added.
Sreesanth, though, knows that he has quite a lot of competition and is targeting a Ranji Trophy triumph with Kerala.
"What I know is that they still have some games left in the Scottish league. Hopefully, I can play at least one match there. I have two goals left," he said, adding, "But a more realistic goal would be to win Ranji Trophy for Kerala. Now we have a lot of talented cricketers around. I can pass on my experience to them and it would be great playing in the whites for my state," he concluded.
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Sreesanth, Ankit Chavan and Ajit Chandila were convicted of spot-fixing in the sixth season of the Indian Premier League. They played for the Rajasthan Royals franchise and were immediately removed from the rest of the tournament.
Soon thereafter, BCCI imposed a life-ban on the bowling trio. The committee had a unanimous vote on the life ban, and intended to send out a clear message with it.
The 34-year-old will have to compete with youngsters to find a spot in the Indian squad. The Indian team's current pace-bowling unit looks stronger than ever. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah have all been in excellent nick and are challenging each other's spot in every match.
It will be tough for Sreesanth to compete with these youngsters to make a comeback to the national side. However, the man from Kerala believes that he has always thrived under pressure. He also said that he faced intense competition even before he made his debut for the country and was successful in making a breakthrough then.
He added that he is now waiting for a green signal from the BCCI and the KCA so that he can begin to train again.
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The fast bowler will have to go back to square one and develop his game from scratch if he wants to make a comeback to the national side.
He will have to go through all the motions again, treat himself as an aspiring Indian cricketer and then look to make his way through the domestic season into the national squads.
Second chances are a vital component of life. If BCCI does agree to give Sreesanth the opportunity to bowl professionally once again, he will look to redeem himself to remove the black blotch on his career.
Mohammad Amir turned from a national winner to a Champions Trophy-winning hero just a couple of months back. Sreesanth might be able to go down the same path if he is given that one chance that he has been waiting for in the last four years.