As we took a sip from our morning coffee on the 16th of May in 2013 and grabbed the tabloid, the one-liner of the day left us in awe. The temperamental and entertaining speedster from Kerala, S.Sreesanth along with his Rajasthan Royals teammates, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were detained by the Delhi police on charges of spot-fixing.
Sreesanth bore the brunt of public ire and overnight, he turned from a charismatic hero to a diabolical villain. When the entire nation fumed and burnt him in effigy, calls for his ban became widespread. The investigation led by the then Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar came up with video evidence linking the accused trio to the bookies involved but those so called “evidence” were just circumstantial and the clouds of dubiousness began to circle around.
A few days into the probe, the Delhi police slapped the draconian Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) on the tainted speedster. The public opinion dramatically shifted in his favour and the perception that he was being made a scapegoat for protecting the interests of the big shots earned him public sympathy. Amid all these speculations, he faced the music when BCCI handed him life ban.
DATE : July 26th,2015
After almost 26 months of uncertainty, distress and turmoil, the Patiala Court House in New Delhi dropped all charges against the accused after the investigation had failed to prove prima facie offence, with no evidence to frame charges against them. From arrest to acquittal, the life of the maverick speedster has indeed taken a huge leap.
As tears of joy and ecstasy erupted at being exonerated, his vow to return to the center stage shows his dedication and passion for the game. He waited for more than two years and stayed strong by not throwing in the towel. But his joy proved to be short-lived as the BCCI remained unperturbed by the judgement and clearly stated that the decisions taken by them shall remain unaltered regardless of the outcome of the verdict.
But Sreesanth’s return is what India needs right now. He was by far, one of the best pacers India ever produced. We’ve seen the legendary Jacques Kallis, the dangerous Adam Gilchrist and many such masters of the game tremble against this infamous southerner.
A welcome addition
His swagger and belligerence will be an added bonus to the current lineup.Over dependency on Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav will have a negative impact in the long run and a need for a specialist pacer who can swing the ball quite effectively and bang them right up in the block holes is quite inevitable. The inconsistency of the bowlers overseas has also been a major concern as they failed to develop an attack that could pick 20 wickets on a regular basis.
Recent humiliations against South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia clearly depicts the big picture.India last won a Test series abroad way back in 2011 when we defeated West Indies 1-0 in the 3 match series. The presence of a lethal and deadly bowler like Sreesanth could make a whole lot of a difference.
His intimidating nature in addition to his perfect killer outswingers that can shatter the stumps would leave any batsman dumbfound. We’ve seen him tackle the greatest in the business, be it anywhere across the globe, he is the perfect go-to guy.He has the talent and the potential, but just as Wasim Akram once mentioned, if he could control himself a bit, he would be absolutely detrimental. Acquittal is just the beginning, it’s BCCI’s turn now to fix the mess.
The administrators who banned Sreesanth were the same ones who gave a clean chit to Meiyappan and Raj Kundra and took no stringent action against them. Their belief that an investigation conducted by them has more relevance than the one by the judiciary completely outlines their flagrant arrogance.
With the former Delhi Police Commissioner, Neeraj Kumar appointed as the Chief advisor of its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit(ACSU), is there a probable conflict of interest? Or is there a plausibility that Sreesanth’s case would be treated below the belt?
The BCCI under the leadership of Jagmohan Dalmiya and Anurag Thakur needs to formulate the right methods to decimate the menaces faced by sport as the life between the 22 yards is a deep rooted faith we live with and the unconditional love that each one of us has shared with it regardless of any cultural or social differences, makes it the biggest unifying factor in our nation.
With the Kerala Cricket Association extending their full-fledged support to their talismanic and exuberant speedster, it is now up to the BCCI to act wisely. They need to lift his ban and give him one last opportunity to prove his worth. His dedication and love for the game is so immense that he is the hero India needs desperately.Published 28 Jul 2015, 12:48 IST